After going 20 straight innings without registering a run, the Minnesota Twins offense actually put some numbers on the board against the Chicago White Sox, and did just enough to avoid a four-game sweep.
Danny Valencia and rookie Chris Parmelee each drove in two runs, and the Twins held off a late Chicago rally to hang on for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday night at Target Field.
The game was scoreless entering the bottom of the third inning, when the Twins finally did a bit of damage off of White Sox starter John Danks. With runners on first and second and two men out, Danks hit Joe Mauer with a pitch to load the bases. Valencia then came through with a two-run single to give the Twins their first lead in. . .well, in a really long time, putting them ahead 2-0. Parmelee followed that up with a double to deep center field that brought home two more runs and staked Minnesota starter Carl Pavano to a 4-0 lead after three innings of play.
Chicago answered back with two runs in the top of the fifth and another in the top of the sixth to cut the Minnesota lead to 4-3. The Twins added another run in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error by Chicago first baseman Paul Konerko to make the score 5-3 in favor of Minnesota. A.J. Pierzynski's RBI groundout in the bottom of the eighth brought the White Sox within one run again at 5-4, but the White Sox would get no closer. Joe Nathan came into the game in the bottom of the ninth and struck out the first two Chicago hitters he faced, and followed that up by getting Omar Vizquel to line out to shortstop to end the game.
The loss snapped a five-game losing streak for the Twins, and the four runs they scored on Wednesday night were double the number of runs that they scored in the previous four games combined.
Minnesota will take the day off on Thursday, and then travel to Detroit for a three-game set with the Tigers starting on Friday night. The pitching match-up for the series opener will feature Kevin Slowey (0-4, 5.31 ERA) taking the mound for the Twins, while the Tigers will counter with Brad Penny (9-10, 5.13 ERA).