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White Sox 9, Twins 2: Sweep sets up showdown

Two deep drives by Dayan Viciedo resulted in three runs.
Two deep drives by Dayan Viciedo resulted in three runs.

With a great advantage in power hitters up and down the lineup, the White Sox could afford to get into a long-drive competition with the Twins.

And it worked out the way it would on paper, as the White Sox posted six runs in the sixth with a couple of towering blasts to run away with the sweep. The Sox finished the season 14-4 against Minnesota.

Jake Peavy benefited from the explosion and the opponent. He threw six solid innings for his 11th victory of the year, and his last four have come against the Twins.

It looked like the Sox might have a bigger fight on their hands, as Diamond retired the first seven batters he faced while Joe Mauer (starting for the first time this series) took Peavy deep to left for a 1-0 lead. The day got away from Diamond, though, as the White Sox let no scoring opportunity pass.

The bottom of the order played a big part. In the third, eighth-hitting Tyler Flowers walked, then moved to third when Gordon Beckham's single drilled Scott Diamond's foot (the one in the air), which redirected the shot from a 4-6-3 double play ball into a perfect hit-and-run single.

Dewayne Wise cashed in that run with a sac fly, but Kevin Youkilis didn't stop there. He smashed a ball just about as far as you can in Target Field without leaving the yard. It was good enough for an RBI double, which gave Peavy a 2-1 lead. One inning later, when Dayan Viciedo crushed a double off the wall in right-center, Peavy had all the runs he needed.

It wasn't the easiest of days for Peavy. The Twins hit him pretty hard throughout, giving Wise plenty of exercise in center and threatening to knock Peavy out earlier than usual. Robin Ventura had Donnie Veal warming in the bullpen in the fifth inning -- Peavy had given up back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 3-2, and his pitch count had crept into the 80s. He came back to retire the next three hitters and strand the tying run, and the White Sox offense made it a non-issue in the sixth.

Adam Dunn hit his 39th homer of the year, a blast to the second deck in right. After a one-out Alex Rios triple, Dayan Viciedo visited the upper deck in left for a 6-2 lead. That forced Diamond out of the game, but the Sox weren't done.

Pedro Florimon, continuing his run of terrible defense at short for Minnesota, booted Alexei Ramirez's grounder to get Anthony Swarzak off to a rough start. Swarzak compounded the problem by walking the next two batters. Ron Gardenhire called for Kyle Waldrop, who got Wise to hit his second sac fly of the day. But Youkilis and Dunn had opposite-field singles in store, and pushed the game into blowout mode. Regulars took seats, and Brian Omogrosso, Veal and Philip Humber finished the game without incident.

The Sox went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position, stranding just five baserunners on the day. Hopefully they bring that timing back with them to Chicago for their season series finale with Detroit.

Record: 79-66 | Box score | Play-by-play