Twins rally late to top White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS -- A late rally by Minnesota salvaged the final game of a 10-game homestand Sunday as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox 4-3 at Target Field.
The Twins, which entered losers of three in a row against the White Sox and in seven of nine games since the All-Star break, scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take the lead for good.
"They come to play," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "It's just been frustrating because we haven't been scoring runs and we've been getting behind early. A very disappointing homestand, but to get the win today was huge. A lot of smiles out there and a lot of relief."
Sam Fuld's RBI single with two outs in the seventh ended up being the game-winning hit. The Twins entered the inning trailing by a run after a two-run top of the sixth gave Chicago their first lead of the afternoon.
Chicago starter Scott Carroll threw 78 pitches through six innings but left the game with a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He departed in line for the win, but reliever Ronald Belisario entered and immediately loaded the bases with nobody out.
Right-hander Javy Guerra took over for Belisario and got shortstop Eduardo Escobar to pop out in foul territory behind third base. Center fielder Danny Santana hit a shallow fly ball to Adam Eaton in center, but designated hitter Josh Willingham tagged up anyway. He reached home after Eaton's throw, but the ball short-hopped catcher Adrian Nieto and Willingham's run tied the game.
The next hitter, left fielder Fuld, ripped a single to center, scoring two, to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.
"I just stayed with my approach and not let the situation get to me too much," Fuld said. "Really, just trying to shoot it up the middle and stay short and rely on (catcher Eric) Fryer's blazing speed to score."
Nieto hit his first major league home run in the top of the eighth to make it a one-run game, but Twins closer Glen Perkins worked around a bases-loaded, one-out jam for his 25th save this season.
"We had a chance there, we just didn't get a big hit," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "A good game all the way around, we just weren't able to get that hit."
Twins right-hander Jared Burton got credit for the win, pitching a shutout seventh inning ahead of Minnesota's rally, improving to 2-2.
Belisario was charged with three runs on a hit and two walks and took the loss, falling to 3-7.
"Early on, he put two guys on and you can't do that in that situation," Ventura said. "You put yourself in a bind. We got a guy bunting in that situation, you gotta let him do it, go ahead and take the out."
Minnesota got on the board first, getting back-to-back one-out extra base hits from shortstop Eduardo Escobar and center fielder Danny Santana. The triple by Santana knocked in the first run of the game and was his second three-base hit of the season.
Twins starter Yohan Pino went 4 2/3 innings before allowing a hit but got in trouble in the sixth. Second baseman Gordon Beckham doubled to lead off the inning, went to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a fly ball to right by shortstop Alexei Ramirez. First baseman Jose Abreu followed with a double into the left-field corner to score Eaton from first to give Chicago the lead.
"When you're in a rut and you give up the lead like that, it's easy to kind of fold up and get down," Fuld said. "But we stuck with it, we fought, and we came away with the win."
Pino got through the sixth, allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk, striking out six.
"He attacks. He had success in Triple-A for a reason and that's because he attacks the strike zone and he uses all his pitches," Gardenhire said. "He doesn't back away from them, he changes speeds and he did that very well against a good hitting team today."