Twins beat White Sox with three-run fifth
MINNEAPOLIS - Designated hitter Joe Mauer hit a two-run double and scored on a single by first baseman Kendrys Morales to cap a three-run fifth inning, and the Minnesota Twins held on for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Morales, making his Twins debut at first base, chased Andre Rienzo (4-5), who allowed four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three in 4 1/3 innings.
"A nice win for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Kevin (Correia) did what he'd been doing. He just kind of hangs in there. I don't think he had his best stuff today, but he hung in there for six and got through it and kept the lead.
"A couple big hits, Joe driving in a couple more today was huge. We just kind of hung on."
Despite giving up runs in the first and second innings, Correia (4-8) was able to settle in and pitch six innings before giving the ball up to Brian Duensing in the seventh.
Correia allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out two and walking two.
"I don't think my command was what it was the last few starts," Correia said. "That's going to happen. You're going to go out there every now and then, the ball's not going to go where you want it to all the time.
"I think I was able to figure out that I could and couldn't do out there and then kind of got on a little roll after that."
The White Sox had a 2-1 lead after two innings, scoring in the first inning on a two-out triple by Conor Gillespie and a single by Jose Abreu, and an unearned run in the second when Correia hit second baseman Gordon Beckham with a pitch to force in a run.
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki was stunned on a foul ball off the bat of Beckham in the second, and he appeared to be seriously injured, but he was able to stay sat in the game.
The Twins got on the board when Rienzo walked Sam Fuld with the bases loaded with two out in the second, but he escaped further damage by getting Danny Santana on a grounder to second.
"It just seems to be that one (inning) that ends up biting him; you hit a batter, you walk a batter, get a hit and next thing you know, it's a crooked number," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "That's the stuff you have to be able to stop if you're going to end up winning. If you're losing, that's the stuff that happens."
Added Rienzo: "One inning, I always have one inning. It happens so fast sometimes, and I don't have too much time to think, it happens so fast."
Set-up man Casey Fien of the Twins walked Adam Dunn and gave up a single to Alejandro De Aza in the eighth inning, but he struck out Adrian Nieto to end the threat.
For the second consecutive game, the White Sox applied pressure on the Twins in the ninth.
Adam Eaton led off with a triple to center field off Glen Perkins and Beckham scored him with a sacrifice fly to right. Pinch hitter Paul Konerko singled, but Perkins struck out Abreu and Dunn to end the game and pick up his 19th save after pinch runner Leury Garcia stole second.
"You always want a chance at redemption," Perkins said. "I'm glad I had a two-run lead again, because it didn't go how I wanted it to. I made the pitches when I needed to make them and got out of it.
"A win's a win, that's the most important thing."
NOTES: Friday night's walk-off victory for the Twins marked their fourth of the season. ... The Twins have played 24 one-run games this season, going 11-13. ... RHP Kevin Correia faced the White Sox for the sixth time in his career. His last win against the Sox came on Aug. 11, 2013, at Chicago, when he pitched seven scoreless innings, while allowing five hits and striking out seven. ... Kendrys Morales played first base for the first time this season. ... The Twins have won four straight games from the White Sox to take a 4-2 lead in the season series. ... The White Sox have lost five straight road games are 14-22 away from home this season. ... The White Sox are 16-18 vs. the American League Central this season (6-10 on the road), have lost seven straight following a five-game winning streak. ... RHP Andre Rienzo made his third career start vs. the Twins and second in Minnesota. He was 0-0 with a 3.97 ERA before Saturday.