White Sox top Twins; regain share of lead
By Andrew Seligman, AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO -- John Danks pitched seven sharp innings and the Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota 6-1 on Wednesday night to move back into a first-place tie in the AL Central with the Twins.
Carlos Quentin homered in his second straight game while helping the White Sox draw even again after being knocked out of first place for the first time since July 10 with a 12-6 loss to the Twins on Tuesday.
They fared better this time after dropping four of five, with a rare victory over a team that had won 18 of 23 against them.
Danks (12-8) allowed one run and six hits.
Quentin hit a two-run shot in the second inning off Twins starter Glen Perkins (0-1) that made it 2-0, and the White Sox continued to pile on from there, taking advantage of two Twins throwing errors that helped set up runs on their way to an easy win.
Alex Rios singled in a run in the third, and the White Sox broke it open with three more in the fifth on an RBI single by Juan Pierre, an RBI double by Alexei Ramirez and a throwing error by shortstop J.J. Hardy.
That was enough for Danks, who kept the Twins in check after they got five homers from five different players in a game for the first time since May 2, 1992. He is 5-1 in his last seven starts.
The Twins got two hits apiece from Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer, who has 27 in his last 50 at-bats after going 2 for 4. Otherwise, it was a rough night for Minnesota.
Perkins got knocked out in the fifth in his first start since Aug. 2, 2009, and reliever Jose Mijares left after facing just one batter in the eighth when he seemed to land awkwardly covering first on Quentin's leadoff single.
Mijares raced to the bag and pulled up as first baseman Cuddyer dove for the base. The pitcher fell to the ground, clinching his knee, stayed down for a few minutes and then jogged toward the outfield and back before being removed.
For Perkins, it was simply a painful performance. Called up from Triple-A with Kevin Slowey nursing a sore elbow, he lasted just 42/3 innings and allowed five hits and six runs while hitting Quentin twice.
Things got particularly ugly in the fifth, when Pierre singled in Omar Vizquel after fouling a squeeze off Mauer's left leg. Ramirez followed with an RBI double off the left-field wall and came around with two outs when Hardy bounced a throw to first after fielding Paul Konerko's grounder, making it 6-0.
Perkins then hit Quentin for the second time, leading to a warning from plate umpire Mike DiMuro and the hook from manager Ron Gardenhire. He brought in Ron Mahay, who retired A.J. Pierzynski on a grounder to short to end the inning, but the White Sox remained in control.
They will try to regain sole possession of first place when the three-game series concludes Thursday. The teams have another three-game set at Target Field next week.
NOTES: 2B Gordon Beckham was back in the White Sox's lineup after missing two games with a strained right groin. ... Chicago's RF Andruw Jones was scratched because of a sore back. ... The Twins had won seven of eight at U.S. Cellular Field.