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White Sox 12, Twins 1: Erik Johnson gets support, and how

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Rookie picks up first major-league win behind season high in runs, ending six-game losing streak

David Banks

A 50-minute first inning put the recent study of cold pitchers to the test. Erik Johnson passed. Liam Hendriks? Not so much.

Johnson needed 31 pitches to get through the first inning. He's partially to blame, starting the inning with an eight-pitch walk and a few more deep counts after that. Thornton Luck followed him into his third start as well, as Gordon Beckham double-clutched on a double-play ball and threw it away. Johnson struck out Josh Willingham to escape the inning unscored upon, turning it over to Hendriks.

Hendriks started his inning by getting Alejandro De Aza to ground weakly to first. Chris Parmalee bobbled it and couldn't recover in time for the flip, allowing De Aza to reach on an infield "single."

That was the first of six singles on the inning. Combine it with two walks, and the Sox piranha'd Hendriks for seven runs in just two-thirds of an inning. Ron Gardenhire called on Michael Tonkin to record the last out, and he allowed a two-run single to Alexei Ramirez before ending a disastrous first frame. At least for the Twins. The Sox must have enjoyed it, since it was the first time they'd held a lead in 54 innings.

Seven runs of support put the onus on Johnson to avoid nibbling. He stepped up and challenged the Twins into three hard-hit outs on 13 pitches. That put his evening back on track, and he ended up completing six shutout innings on 112 pitches. He allowed just four singles, two walks and a hit batsman while striking out eight -- the final one coming with the bases loaded to close out the sixth, and his evening. The effort was plenty for his first career victory.

The offense kept piling on nevertheless. Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo took Cole De Vries deep on back-to-back solo shots in the fourth. Jordan Danks, who hit a double off the padding on the right-center wall for the closest non-homer you can hit at the Cell, hit a DUDNMOOOOO two-run homer in the sixth.

Alexei Ramirez tacked on the final run with a solo shot to center(!) to give the Sox a season-high in runs scored with 12. It was only their second four-homer game, and the first since the ... second game of the season.

Daniel Webb saw the shutout spoiled on his watch, allowing a run on a single in the eighth inning on a broken-bat single.

Record: 59-91 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights