Twins rally, hang on against Sox
CHICAGO -- Luke Hughes' three-run homer capped a six-run fourth Friday night and the Minnesota Twins continued their mastery of the Chicago White Sox, rallying for an 8-5 victory.
The Twins are 6-0 against the White Sox this season, have won nine straight in the series going back to last year and are 28-6 in the past 34 games between the two AL Central foes.
The White Sox scored five runs in the first, but starter Gavin Floyd couldn't hold the 5-1 lead and was driven out after 3Xc innings when Rene Tosoni hit a bases-loaded single to tie it.
Hughes greeted reliever Will Ohman with a long three-run homer to left, his third homer of the season, to put the Twins up 8-5.
Floyd (6-9), winless in six starts since June 1, gave up nine hits and was charged with seven runs.
Nick Blackburn (7-6) survived Chicago's five-run first to get the win. He gave up nine hits, including Adam Dunn's two-run homer in the first.
Blackburn also struggled mightily in his previous two starts, allowing 19 hits and 13 earned runs over 8Zc innings.
But on Friday night Minnesota's offense helped him overcome the rough start.
Matt Capps, the fourth Twins' reliever, pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 20 chances.
Dunn, in a 4-for-52 tailspin with 29 strikeouts over his previous 15 games, drove a 3-2 pitch from Blackburn 412 feet into the right field bleachers to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Alexei Ramirez had singled with one out and scored on Paul Konerko's double.
After Dunn's blast, his ninth homer of the season, Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios followed with back-to-back doubles to push the lead to three runs. Gordon Beckham's RBI single completed the early outburst.
It didn't take long for the Twins to get to Floyd.
Joe Mauer, back behind the plate after playing first base for the first time in the majors Thursday night, doubled off the right-center field fence with two outs in the first and scored on Michael Cuddyer's RBI single.
Minnesota loaded the bases in the third as Floyd hit Cuddyer with a pitch following a bunt single by Alexi Casilla and opposite-field single by Mauer. Danny Valencia hit a sacrifice fly, and one out later, Hughes walked to reload the bases. White Sox third baseman Brent Morel then made a nice play on a hard shot off the bat of Tsuyoshi Nishioka and threw him out to end the inning.
Floyd hit Mauer to load the bases again in the fourth after singles by Matt Tolbert and Casilla. Cuddyer then delivered another RBI single, and one out later, Tosoni lined his two-run single to right to tie the game.
Notes: Cuddyer has an eight-game hitting streak. ... CF Denard Span (concussion), one of five Twins on the DL, ran the bases Friday and had no problems. The Twins hope to send him on a rehab assignment after the All-Star break. .... Minnesota DH Jim Thome got the night off to rest a sore toe but will be back in the lineup Saturday. .. The White Sox have lost four straight overall and are tied with the Twins in the loss column (47). Floyd is 4-10 in his career against the Twins, including 0-7 in his past seven starts. ... Chicago's five first-inning runs matched the White Sox's total output against the Twins in their first five games this season.