Mark Buehrle hurled seven scoreless innings and the White Sox knocked around Carl Pavano and the Twins to cruise to an 11-0 victory in the finale of their three-game series against the American League Central front-runners.
The blowout was much-needed for a Chicago club that came in five games behind in the division thanks to its four-game skid and Minnesota’s six-game winning streak.
Paul Konerko highlighted the 21-hit barrage with a five-hit night that included a home run, a double and four RBI. Alexei Ramirez went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, Mark Teahen had three hits and two RBI, and A.J. Pierzynski knocked in a pair in a two-hit effort.
Buehrle (12-9) didn’t need that much support, yielding just five hits and a walk while striking out four to win for a fourth time in five decisions.
Pavano (15-8), who came into the game with a 2.63 ERA over his previous 13 outings, was touched for seven runs on 15 hits in six-plus frames.
The lopsided affair started earlier, with Juan Pierre and Omar Vizquel opening the game with singles. Alex Rios plated the former with a groundout, and Teahen’s base hit through the right side of the infield scored the latter.
Chicago wasted three singles in the second but scored two in the third on Teahen’s triple and Pierzynski’s two-bagger off the wall in right-center.
Konerko roped a leadoff homer in the fifth, then chased Pavano in the sixth with a run-scoring base hit to right. Glen Perkins came in a yielded an RBI groundout to Pierzynski later in the frame for a 7-0 contest.
Pierre and Vizquel scored in the eighth on Konerko’s double down the left- field line, and Ramirez roped his 14th home run of the season two batters later to account for the final margin.
J.J. Putz and Tony Pena combined for a scoreless home eighth, and Bobby Jenks threw a 1-2-3 ninth to preserve the shutout.
Minnesota still leads the season series, 10-5…The Twins had won nine straight at home…Buehrle came in with a 24-17 record and 4.08 ERA in 45 career matchups (43 starts) against the Twins…Konerko’s homer was his 31st of the season. He previously had a five-hit game on July 10, 2005 against Oakland…Pierre and Vizquel had three hits apiece.