On Saturday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins missed an opportunity to tie their franchise record for the most consecutive defeats of the Chicago White Sox by blowing a 3-2 eighth-inning lead and losing 4-3 at U.S. Cellular Field.
On Sunday afternoon, they apparently decided the best thing to do would be to start a new streak. The Twins battered White Sox starter Jake Peavy (4-3, 5.27 ERA) and defeated the White Sox by a final score of 6-3, taking three out of four from Chicago in the last series for both teams before the All-Star break.
Both teams were scoreless going into the top of the fourth, and after two quick outs for the Twins, they got some offense from some unlikely sources to take the lead. Peavy issued consecutive walks to Rene Tosoni and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and Drew Butera followed that up with a single to center to bring in Tosoni for the first run of the game. Jason Repko then followed with a double to left to score Nishioka and increase the Minnesota lead to 2-0.
Minnesota put up another crooked number in the top of the fifth, when Alexi Casilla led off with a single and Joe Mauer executed a perfect hit-and-run with a single to right, putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Michael Cuddyer then lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Casilla and give the Twins a 3-0 lead. Danny Valencia then singled to center, and advanced to second on the throw. Tosoni then singled to left to score Mauer, making the score 4-0 and putting runners on the corners again. Nishioka then grounded into an unusual double play, as he grounded out to Gordon Beckham at second. . .but White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko threw the ball back down to second, and Rene Tosoni got caught and tagged out. During all of that, however, Valencia came in to score from third, and the score went to 5-0 in favor of Minnesota.
Twins' starter Anthony Swarzak (2-2, 3.38 ERA), getting the start in place of the injured Scott Baker, was cruising until the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and Juan Pierre on second base, Konerko singled to center to score Pierre and break up the shutout, making the score 5-1. Alex Burnett then came in for the bottom of the seventh, and immediately gave up two runs on a walk to Alex Rios, a double to right by A.J. Pierzynski that scored Rios, and a ground rule double to left by Beckham to score Pierzynski and make the score 5-3. Burnett then struck out Mark Teahen, and was lifted for Glen Perkins, who got the final two outs of the inning. Perkins pitched the eighth inning for the Twins as well.
Minnesota got a much-needed insurance run in the top of the ninth, and it once again came with two outs. After two quick outs, reliever Sergio Santos gave up a triple to right to Alexi Casilla. After Joe Mauer was intentionally walked. . .yes, with two outs and a runner on third. . .Santos uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Casilla to score and make it 6-3, Twins. Matt Capps then came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, allowing one hit and getting a double play to end things for his fifteenth save of the year.
Swarzak got the victory for Minnesota, allowing one run on four hits in six innings of work. Peavy lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on ten hits.
Every member of the Twins not named Michael Cuddyer will be off until Thursday night, as the Twins head back to Target Field to kick off the second half of the 2011 season against the Kansas City Royals.