White Sox 10, Twins 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—As usual, Frank Thomas had nothing to say to reporters after the game.
That’s OK. His swings are making the big statements anyway.
Thomas finished a triple shy of the cycle. He homered in a six-run second inning for the White Sox, who opened the four-game series against their division rivals with their third straight win and fourth in five games.
“He’s hitting the ball well,” Loaiza said. “I think everybody’s hitting the ball well.”
The Big Hurt also had a huge day in Cleveland on Wednesday, reaching base five times and driving in a season-high five runs in a 15-3 victory over the Indians.
Paul Konerko added two solo shots—one off reliever Terry Mulholland in the seventh and another off Grant Balfour in the ninth. Jose Valentin was the only Chicago starter who didn’t have at least one hit as the White Sox roughed up starter Seth Greisinger and moved within a game of the first-place Twins.
Konerko stopped short of saying the win sent a message to the reigning AL Central champs.
“Not when you play guys so many times,” he said. “It’s just one win. It’s definitely better than losing but we still haven’t won the series yet.”
Loaiza (5-3) pitched seven innings, allowing nine hits and three runs. His last victory was April 29 against Toronto. The White Sox had scored a combined six runs in Loaiza’s last three starts.
“Hopefully, we just come back tomorrow and get some more runs like we did today,” Loaiza said.
Jacque Jones homered for the Twins in the fifth inning to make it 7-3. Loaiza’s first pitch of the inning was a fastball down the middle that Jones sent 431 feet to right.
But that was as much offense as Minnesota could muster against last year’s AL Cy Young runner-up.
“Loaiza was OK,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I’m sure if you ask him, he’ll say he didn’t have his best stuff. … But he did what he had to do. Once they got a lead, he threw the ball over, made us swing the bat and he got the outs.”
Greisinger (1-3) lasted four-plus innings, allowing seven runs—three earned—and 10 hits. It was a far cry from his start last Saturday against the White Sox, when he threw seven innings and allowed only four hits in a 4-1 win.
“I threw some good pitches,” Greisinger said. “But really I just made too many mistakes up in the zone.”
Minnesota led 2-0 after the first, but an error by third baseman Michael Cuddyer with two outs led to Chicago’s big second inning.
Then came Thomas’ homer. He drove Greisinger’s 2-0 pitch 382 feet into the left-field seats to make it 6-2.
“If you miss the ball and give them too many outs, bad things happen,” Gardenhire said.
Thomas and Carlos Lee hit consecutive doubles in the fifth to put the White Sox up 7-2 and chase Greisinger.
Thomas is 9-for-15 in his career against Greisinger.
The White Sox added another run in the sixth after Joe Crede led off with a single. Olivo laid down a perfect bunt, and Mulholland’s throw hit him in thehip. Crede scored on Mulholland’s error to make it 8-3.
After the game, the Twins placed Stewart on the disabled list and recalled INF Justin Morneau from Triple-A Rochester. … Twins 2B Alex Prieto got his first hit of the year in the fourth inning. … Thomas has eight homers this season. … The game started with a few bizarre plays. After Uribe led off with a single, Greisinger picked him off at first. Then, Perez grounded to first. Although Jose Offerman’s foot appeared to touch the bag, first base umpire Jim Joyce called Perez safe. Thomas followed with a single, but Lee hitinto a double play to end the inning.