In previous years, tonight would have been a garden-variety loss to the Twins.
This year, the White Sox had an answer for everything, and the Twins didn't have an answer for the sheer talent void left by their body count.
The Sox overcame a pair of three-run deficits to extend their winning streak to five, with one of the KnightSox leading the charge, and some classic Minnesota kindness helping to seal the deal.
Alejandro De Aza continues to come up with big hits. When Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer off Zach Stewart to start the scoring in the top of the fourth, De Aza answered with one of his own off Anthony Swarzak, turning on 2-2 pitch and lining it into the Bullpen Sports Bar.
The Twins tried grabbing another three-run lead thanks to more poor pitching by Stewart, who threw a wild pitch to put two runners in scoring position, then bypassed the open base by challenging Joe Mauer with a 2-1 fastball. Mauer lined one to the right-center gap and scored two runs, and a Michael Cuddyer single drove him in.
Once again, the Sox responded immediately. Alexei Ramirez started the rally with a one-out single, and he scored on Paul Konerko's double to left. Alex Rios blooped a single to right to get Konerko to third, and then came a succession of presents.
Swarzak got ahead on Dayan Viciedo with a first-pitch strike, then hit him in the shoulder. That loaded the bases for De Aza, who hit a routine grounder to Cuddyer at first. Cuddyer went for the forceout at second, but his throw wasn't on target, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka didn't make much of an effort to catch it. The throw skipped into left field, which allowed two runs to score, tying the game at 6.
Ron Gardenhire called on Alex Burnett to relieve Swarzak, but he instead picked up where he left off. He walked Tyler Flowers, and after a three-pitch strikeout of Brent Morel, he hit Gordon Beckham on the hand after getting ahead 1-2. That gave the Sox the lead, and Juan Pierre made it a two-run game with a single to left.
Jeff Cox wanted a three-run lead, sending Flowers home, but he was cut down at the plate by Rene Tosoni.
Another nice effort by the bullpen made further insurance unnecessary. Jason Frasor walked the first guy he faced to start the sixth, but set down the next three in order. Chris Sale pitched around an Alexei Ramirez error and a Tyler Flowers passed ball for two scoreless innings, and Sergio Santos recorded his 28th save of the season with a generous third strike to end it.
*This is kind of a weird-looking line score:
*The Sox had a second runner thrown out at home when Ramirez was caught running out a sky-high pop-up that landed for a single. He started at first, and by the time the ball hit the grass, he was rounding third. Jason Kubel threw to home in time to get Ramirez to cede the out.
*Tyler Flowers was called for batter's interference to nullify a De Aza stolen base. The Sox must lead the league in this.
*Gordon Beckham made a big play in the seventh by backhanding Joe Mauer's grounder up the middle and throwing him out at first, because Ben Revere was on second. If that one gets through, it's a one-run game.
*In his postgame interview with Sara Kustok, he described his homer as "The big thing happened." I like that.