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Twins 4, White Sox 1: A Minnesota welcome

Minnesota: Where things like this happen.
Minnesota: Where things like this happen.

This game had the makings of a Twinning from the very first batter, and the following three hours confirmed it. At least Robin Ventura knows what it's all about now.

And hell, it could have been worse. The White Sox allowed 20 baserunners over eight innings, but limited them to just four runs. That might have frustrated our counterparts had they faced another team, but with the White Sox against Francisco Liriano, it was more than enough.

Liriano, 1-7 with a 5.74 ERA this season, held the Sox to an Alexei Ramirez sacrifice fly. On a bright side, he was 1-4 with a 9.13 ERA when he no-hit the Sox last year, so ... progress, I guess.

Jake Peavy had a tougher time from the start, as the Twins tagged him for his first first-inning run allowed. Denard Span led off with a double, advanced to third on Ben Revere's bunt single (which Peavy almost made a great play on, but the throw arrived at the same time Revere did, and Konerko couldn't hold onto it), and scored on a sac fly.

The Twins took it up a notch in the second. Trevor Plouffe singled with one out, and went to third on a weak single by Brian Dozier. Alex Rios took an unnecessary shot to throw out Plouffe at third, and it escaped Kevin Youkilis. Because Peavy didn't back up third, Plouffe came around to score to make it 2-0. Peavy came back to strike out Drew Butera, but Jamey Carroll poked a single to the middle to make it 3-0.

Peavy went to mostly sliders after that, and was able to keep the Twins off the board the rest of the night. He allowed those three runs over six innings, striking out seven.

The White Sox's half-innings blew by pretty quickly, but the Sox bullpen prolonged the game. Hector Santiago, Nate Jones and Will Ohman walked four batters along with two hits over two innings, but somehow limited the damage to a run. And that run could have been taken off the board had Paul Konerko stayed on the bag.

With runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, Rios made a beautiful shoestring grab on a sinking liner. Justin Morneau was halfway to second, and Rios came up firing to first. Konerko stretched for the ball, but so much so that he left the bag before Morneau returned. That might have recorded the final out before Mauer crossed the plate on the sacrifice fly, but instead, the Twins had a three-run lead to take all the way home.

Bullet points:

  • Kevin Youkilis batted second and went 1-for-4 in his White Sox debut.
  • Adam Dunn struck out four times in four trips to the plate, all against left-handed pitching.
  • Ben Revere went 4-for-5, and Gordon Beckham robbed him of a fifth hit with a sensational diving stab and throw.

Record: 38-35 | Box score | Play-by-play