Twins 20, White Sox 14, 1st game; Twins 12, White Sox 0, 2nd game
CHICAGO (AP)—Justin Morneau took a swing at history, but settled for a career game.
“Those are just days you put in your memory bank and don’t expect them to happen,” Morneau said.
Morneau became the fourth Twins player to hit three home runs in a game, and Minnesota hit six in all in the nightcap to complete the sweep. The Twins won 20-14 in the opener.
It was the most runs scored by one team in a doubleheader since the Boston Red Sox totaled 35 in a sweep of the Philadelphia Athletics on July 4, 1939, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Morneau hit a three-run drive in the first, a solo shot in the third and a two-run homer in the seventh, giving him 23 this year. He became the first Twins player to hit three in a game since Tony Oliva against Kansas City on July 3, 1973, and he joined a group that also includes Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew.
Morneau had a shot at tying the major league record in the eighth but fell one homer shy. He unleashed a big swing and missed the first offering, then flied to left five pitches later.
“He just missed that last one,” teammate Torii Hunter said. “He popped it up, hit it high. We hadn’t had anyone do that in 34 years, Tony Oliva, so that’s a big honor for him.”
Morneau watched a video of his hits from last season on Thursday night and responded with his first three-homer game at any level.
“I was trying to get something good in my mind before I went to bed, and it ended up working,” he said.
That came after a day game that featured more runs than any contest in more than eight years. The 34 runs were the most since May 19, 1999, when Cincinnati beat Colorado 24-12, according to Elias.
But a major scare tempered the good vibe for Minnesota.
Thome fouled off a pitch and lost control of the bat on the backswing, sending it flying into the right side of Redmond’s helmet. Redmond took seven stitches at the ballpark but said he’s fine.
Designated hitter Joe Mauer went in to catch for the Twins, meaning starting pitcher Matt Garza became the first pitcher to hit in an American League game since Boston’s Hipolito Pichardo at Seattle on July 31, 2000.
Garza (1-0) pitched six shutout innings, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out six in his first start and second appearance this season since being called up from Triple-A Rochester.
Gavin Floyd (0-1) allowed six runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He also walked four in his first appearance for the White Sox. Acquired from Philadelphia in the Freddy Garcia trade last December, Floyd was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.
“It was hard to watch, hard to feel that way,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. “You can do nothing about it.”
Morneau and Hunter hit consecutive shots in the third—the third time the Twins did that this year. It was Morneau’s fourth multihomer game this season and the eighth of his career.
Morneau became the fourth big league player to connect three times in a game this season, joining Houston’s Carlos Lee (April 13), the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano (June 8) and Texas’ Brad Wilkerson (July 3).
It was fitting given what happened in the first game.
The Twins scored their most runs since piling up 23 against Cleveland on June 4, 2002. The White Sox had not allowed 20 since April 2, 1998, against Texas.
Garland (6-6) tied a career high by allowing 12 runs, 11 earned. He gave up 11 hits, tying a season high, walked three and did not strike out a batter.
He did all that in just 3 1-3 innings, his earliest exit since lasting 2 2-3 innings against Detroit on Aug. 19, 2004. But that was enough time for his ERA to leap from 3.15 to 3.92.
Garland’s day ended when Kubel hit the second grand slam of his career to make it 12-4—even though things had gotten ugly long before that.
“The result was absolutely terrible,” Garland said. “I’m embarrassed by it.”
Scott Baker (3-3) got the win despite allowing seven runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Chicago set season highs for runs and hits (18). It was the most runs for the White Sox since scoring 20 against St. Louis on June 20, 2006.
“I didn’t know we were going to play a football game,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Kubel drove in a career-high seven runs. Mauer had four hits and tied a career high with five RBIs. Hunter, Luis Castillo, Jason Bartlett and Morneau each had three hits, and Minnesota banged out 21 in all—one shy of its season high.
Hunter delivered a highlight reel play in the third inning of the first game when the center fielder raced into the gap to snag Juan Uribe’s drive to left-center. He leaped as he backhanded the ball, avoiding a collision with Kubel. … The White Sox placed reliever Mike MacDougal on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation and activated right-hander Dewon Day (sore back).
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