Twins close four-game sweep 6-5 against White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS -- A three-run fourth inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 6-5 win against the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Target Field, giving the Twins a four-game sweep of their rivals from the Windy City.
It was the first four-game sweep at home for Minnesota since it took four from the Oakland Athletics in July 2007.
Expected to be a low-scoring pitchers' duel between Chicago's John Danks and Minnesota's Phil Hughes, neither was effective over five innings of work.
The Twins staked Hughes to an early three-run lead, scoring one in the first inning and two more in the second. But the top of the third was a nightmare for the Twins right-hander, who faced 10 batters and gave up six hits and a walk in the inning.
White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham's bases-loaded double off the wall in left made it a 3-2 game and first baseman Jose Abreu followed with a sharp single up the middle to give Chicago the lead. A single later in the inning by third baseman Conor Gillaspie made it 5-3.
But the Twins came back against Danks in the fourth, getting back-to-back RBI singles from second baseman Brian Dozier and first baseman Joe Mauer before taking the lead for good on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Josh Willingham.
Hughes retired seven of the final eight batters he faced to earn the win, but lasted only the five innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out four and improved to 8-3.
Danks lasted five innings too, allowing six runs, all earned, on 10 hits and four walks with one strikeout. It was his shortest since May 18, when he lasted only 4 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros. That was the last time he did not have a quality start, a stretch of five outings. He dropped to 6-6.
Right-handers Anthony Swarzak and Casey Fien combined for three perfect innings to get to Jared Burton in the ninth, who came on for his first save of the season in place of Glen Perkins, who was unavailable after pitching each of the three days.
NOTES: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the top of the third inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was his second ejection of the season and 69th of his career. ... The four-game sweep was Minnesota's first since June 2011, when the Twins took four from the Kansas City Royals at Kaufmann Stadium. ... The four-game sweep by the Twins was their first four-gamer over the White Sox since June 1994. ... The loss by Chicago was its eighth straight road defeat. ... The save for RP Jared Burton was his first since last May 30 against Milwaukee.