White Sox 6, Twins 1
CHICAGO (AP)—Mark Buehrle is starting to resemble the pitcher who won 35 games in his first two full seasons in the major leagues.
Buehrle (6-10), a 19-game winner last season, gave up one run and eight hits in eight-plus innings Tuesday night, a 6-1 White Sox win over Minnesota. He has won four straight after a 2-10 start.
“I’m winning, finally,” Buehrle said. “I’m attacking the strike zone, my sinker’s working a lot better for me. But overall it’s just going out there and throwing a lot of strikes and getting ahead in the count so I can throw my pitch in any count.”
The White Sox, who acquired Roberto Alomar in a trade with the New York Mets on Tuesday, have won five of six and eight of 11. Alomar is expected to join the team and play Wednesday against the Twins.
Chicago has taken four of five from division-rival Minnesota during their recent string of improved play, moving within three games of first-place Kansas City in the AL Central. The Twins dropped a half-game behind the Royals.
“We seem to be on a pretty good roll right now,” Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. “We’ve won a few series starting with the Cubs series. That was big for us. It’s been a good stretch of games for us.”
The recent run has been against the division-rival Twins and the cross-town rival Cubs.
“Everybody’s just playing loose and going out there and doing their job,” Buehrle said.
Frank Thomas homered and drove in three runs to help Buehrle earn the win.
Brad Radke (5-8) gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, losing his fifth straight decision.
“We got behind early again. It’s an uphill battle from there,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It makes it tough facing a guy like Buehrle that’s throwing the ball very well.”
The White Sox picked up where they left off Monday, when they pounded out five home runs in a 10-3 win over the Twins. Thomas hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his 18th on the year, and Brian Daubach followed two batters later with a solo shot.
Sandy Alomar, Roberto’s brother, added a solo homer in the second to make it 4-0. Alomar’s only other home run this year came April 5 against Detroit.
The White Sox tacked on runs in the sixth and seventh on RBI doubles from Joe Crede and Thomas.
“We have to do everything we can to sustain this level of play, regardless of what it takes,” Manuel said. “I think the key for us is the bats. When thebats begin to come around we become a very, very tough team.”
Thomas’ home run was the 89th first-inning homer in his career. … The announced crowd of 30,694 included walk-up ticket sales of 14,573, the White Sox said, a record for their 13-year-old stadium. … Chicago Bulls first-rounddraft pick Kirk Hinrich threw out the ceremonial first pitch.