Sox 4, Twins 3: Ramirez Snaps Skid

The White Sox entered Saturday's game against the Twins losers of their last 4 games overall and their last 9 against the Twins.  That all ended when Alexei Ramirez singled home A.J. Pierzynski with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th to end both skids.  Ramirez also got the Sox on the board early with a solo homer in the bottom of the first to give the Sox a 1-0 lead.  He finished the game 3-4 and also had a key sacrifice bunt.  

Mark Buehrle pitched absolutely fantastic today and deserved to get the win.  He gave up 3 runs, but none of them were earned.  With the Sox leading 1-0 in the 3rd, Luke Hughes led off the inning with a grounder to Brent Morel that he misplayed.  Tsuyoshi Nishioka followed with a bunt single.  Jason Repko bunted them over and Ben Revere chopped out to first, scoring Hughes.  Alexi Casilla followed with a hit to left to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.  

After a Ramon Castro double in the 2nd inning, Brian Duensing retired the next 11 hitters in a row.  Buehrle was up to the challenge though and retired 8 in a row himself.  He got in a little trouble in the 6th when Casilla roped a 1 out double to left.  After Joe Mauer grounded out to second, Michael Cuddyer was intentionally walked bringing up Jim Thome. Thome went down swinging to end the threat.  

In the bottom of the 6th, the Sox finally got to Duensing again.  After Morel led off with a groundout, Juan Pierre and Ramirez hit back to back singles.  Pierre scored on a Paul Konerko sacrifice fly to deep center to tie the game at 2.  

The Twins would break the tie in the 8th, as Repko led off with an infield single.  As if the Twins needed any help, replays showed that Ramirez' throw to first beat Repko.  Revere followed with a bunt that Konerko had a tough time handling, his throw was late to first but we got the makeup call as Revere was called out.  This brought up Casilla, who was the only guy making solid contact off of Buerhle.  Ozzie stuck with Mark and after a passed ball, Casilla made him pay with a sac fly to center to give the Twins the 3-2 lead.

Pierre led off the bottom of the 8th by leaning into a Glen Perkins fastball.  Ramirez followed that up with a sac bunt.  Konerko was intentionally walked, bringing up Dunn who fouled out down the right field line.  Pierre decided to take off and was almost gunned out by Cuddyer at 3rd barely beating the throw.  Carlos Quentin followed with a clutch single to left off of Joe Nathan to tie the game at 3.  

The defense decided to show up for Jesse Crain in the 9th as Quentin ran down a deep fly ball in the right center field gap for the first out of the inning.  After another Thome strikeout, Danny Valencia hit a typical Twin swinging bunt but Crain charged spun and jump threw to first to get him easily.  

A.J. Pierzynski, who entered the game when Castro broke his hand on the passed ball in the 8th, ripped a lead off double into the right center field gap off of Jose Mijares to start the 9th.  Guillen surprisingly decided not to bunt him to third with Beckham and Gordon lined out sharply to left.  Mark Teahen flew out to center and it looked as if the Twins were going to get out of the jam.  Pierre had a fine at bat to draw a walk, which brought Ron Gardenhire out and Alex Burnett in to face Ramirez, who pulled off the heroics with a line single to center.

* Castro missed the pitch from Buerhle with his glove and it smashed against his throwing hand, causing the break.

*  Thome was 0-4 with 4 strikeouts.

* Buerhle struck out a season high 8 batters.

* Even though it didn't matter today, Guillen again pinch ran for Konerko with Omar Vizquel.  Vizquel's spot was on deck when Ramirez won the game.  I don't understand why he makes that move.

* The Sox close out the first half tomorrow afternoon with Jake Peavy on the bump facing Anthony Swarzak.

WP: Crain 

LP: Mijares

Record: 44-47| Box

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