Jul 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm
MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) – An evening that began with a bang for both teams, ended with a single punctuation mark for the Minnesota Twins as a run in the bottom of the ninth on a Jamey Carroll sacrifice fly broke a 6-6 tie and gave Minnesota their fourth straight victory, 7-6 over the Chicago White Sox.
Leading 6-5 after seven innings, Chicago tied the score with a two out single in the top of the eighth. Needing a run in the ninth, Danny Valencia led off the inning with a single. After Alexi Casilla replaced Valencia as a pinch runner, an error on a Brian Dozier bunt put runners at second and third with no outs. With the infield drawn in Carroll lofted a ball deep enough to right to bring Casilla home with the Twins 44th victory.
Starters Cole DeVries for the twins and Jose Quintana each surrendered big innings early. The big blow from DeVries came off the bat of former Twin A.J. Pierzynski who launched a three run home run deep to left to put Chicago up 4-0. Minnesota stormed back thanks to RBI singles from Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Valencia to make it 4-0.
DeVries lasted just five laborious innings throwing 100 pitches, but allowed just a single unearned runs to give his team a chance to win. The righty allowed seven hits, one walk and striking out three in his five innings of work.
The Twins took their first lead of the night in the third inning. Willingham worked a walk to start the frame ahead of a Morneau single. Ryan Doumit singled Willingham home to make it 5-4. Valencia then picked up his second RBI on the night with a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 6-4. Valencia ended the night 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Denard Span picked up two hits on the day, but made the biggest impact with his glove. In the fifth, with a runner on, he went to the very top of the wall in deepest left center to make a catch, taking away a run and an extra base hit. Then with no one out and the Twins still leading by just one in the eighth span ended the frame with a sliding snare of a sinking liner off the bat of Pierzynski.
The win pulls the Twins back to within 11 games of first place Chicago in the AL Central with a record of 44-58. Tuesday former teammates collide as Francisco Liriano will make his first for the White Sox start since being traded over the weekend. Minnesota will counter with Nick Blackburn. First pitch from Target Field is scheduled for 7:10.