May 25, 2012 at 6:35 am
CHICAGO (AP) - Alejandro De Aza simply wanted to put the ball in the air.
Knocking it out of the park was a nice added bonus.
De Aza capped a six-run sixth with a grand slam after Paul Konerko and Alex
Rios started the inning with back-to-back homers, leading the Chicago White Sox
to an 11-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo also went deep as the White Sox won for the
sixth time in seven games.
''It's one night, but just the way they're swinging it, you could see it sort
of coming over the weekend,'' manager Robin Ventura said. ''Just the intensity
and the quality of at-bats that we were having, that's the thing that keeps it
going is everyone continues to do that and grind out at-bats. That's what they
were doing tonight. They were late in the counts and still putting on good
Konerko had two hits and drove in two runs. Rios also had two hits and knocked
in three, and Chicago pulled this one out even though Philip Humber couldn't
protect an early 4-1 lead.
The Twins knocked him out during a four-run fifth, sending 10 batters to the
plate. Joe Mauer homered in the inning and Brian Dozier capped the rally with a
two-run single to give Minnesota a 5-4 lead, but the debuting Cole De Vries
couldn't hold it.
Konerko and Rios chased him with back-to-back homers to left leading off the
sixth, putting Chicago back on top, and the White Sox kept pouring it on from
They loaded the bases with one out against Brian Duensing before De Aza, who
had an earlier homer wiped out by instant replay, drove a 1-0 pitch over the
right-field bullpen to make it 10-5. The grand slam was the first of his career
and the first by the White Sox since Rios hit one against Cleveland on Sept. 10,
''I was trying to get a fly ball because it was bases loaded,'' De Aza said.
''And the fly ball got big, you know.''
The big rally made a winner of Nate Jones (2-0), who allowed two hits over 1
2-3 innings. He came in for Humber in the fifth and immediately gave up that
two-run single by Dozier, but the White Sox came out on top, anyway.
They had their way with De Vries (0-1), who grew up near Minneapolis and played
for the University of Minnesota.
''I was pretty good in the bullpen,'' he said. ''I got out there and it was
like someone flipped the light switch and the butterflies started going a little
bit. After that, it dropped, then went back up. It was a rollercoaster night.''
The 27-year-old right-hander gave up six runs _ three earned _ and six hits.
He was shaky right from the start. Pierzynski drove a solo homer off the
right-field pole in the second and the White Sox added to their lead in the
third after Alexi Casilla booted De Aza's grounder to second with one out.
Konerko extended his hitting streak to 10 with an RBI single, and Rios added a
two-run double to make it 4-1.
But what looked like an easy evening took a difficult turn. Humber still hasn't
won since his perfect game against Seattle on April 21 and the right-hander is
0-2 in his last six starts after allowing five runs and six hits in 4 1-3
''I haven't felt like I've really been in sync probably for awhile now,'' he
Humber said he's not finishing his pitches. But the question is: Why?
''I've got to figure out what's going on,'' he said. ''There's a lot of feel
that goes on as a pitcher.''
Temp: 17°F (-8°C)
Wind: 13 W