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Four homers power Twins over White Sox

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins treated the fans at Target Field to a home-run derby on Thursday afternoon. The Twins had four round-trippers to Chicago's two and beat the White Sox 8-4.

The six homers by the two teams tied a Target Field record.

White Sox starting pitcher John Danks struggled early, giving up the four homers and six runs. He threw 101 pitches in five innings, allowing 12 hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

"I feel like I had enough to give us a chance," Danks said. "I didn't; that's just the way it goes. Certainly, location (was a problem). I've got to get the ball down. Especially days like this where I didn't have as much as I am accustomed to having. Just bad pitches and the guys did what they are supposed to do with them."

Twins starter Scott Diamond made it into the sixth inning but couldn't get out of it as the White Sox hit several shots of their own.

Alex Rios led off the inning with a single just over Brian Dozier's glove at second base. Twins killer Paul Konerko followed with a two-run homer and then Adam Dunn hit his 19th home run of the season to put Chicago right back in the game at 6-4.

Diamond retired one more batter and was lifted for reliever Anthony Swarzak. Diamond threw 87 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) and seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts to pick up his fifth win.

"I think you saw he was going along pretty good, working ahead in the count, through the early part of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Diamond. "And even when he got behind, he was able to make a pitch there in the sixth -- he just couldn't find it. But up until that point he gave us a good performance, he gave us a great opportunity. But the sixth inning, you know, we've got to get deeper in the game -- that's something he's got to work on."

The Twins, who had 15 hits, came back in the sixth with a two-out rally started by Joe Mauer's double. Ryan Doumit reached on an error, Josh Willingham walked and Justin Morneau hit a two-run single to make it 8-4.

The White Sox loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, but Jared Burton got Rios to fly out to deep left field to close down the White Sox, concluding a series sweep for Minnesota.

"I didn't think he got it == it made a funny sound like he got it off the end of the bat," Gardenhire said of Rios' swing that almost tied the score. "That's what it sounded like. We were playing back -- no doubles. I figured Arcia, as long as doesn't get too high, we might see it. The ball fell in his glove and ended the game. That was really a good thing."

The Twins threatened in the first inning but carried through on another threat in the second. Arcia hit his fifth home run of the season (and his career) over the right-field fence.

Clete Thomas followed with an infield single and then scored on Dozier's sixth homer of the season == his third in the past four games.

Diamond started typically strong in the early innings, holding the White Sox to one hit in three innings.

But in the fourth, he gave up three hits and loaded the bases with two outs. Diamond got Jeff Keppinger to ground to third, but Trevor Plouffe's throw pulled Justin Morneau off the bag and Konerko scored. It was Plouffe's sixth error of the season.

The Twins got the run back in the bottom of the fourth when Thomas hit his first home run of the season. Eduardo Escobar homered to left three pitches later -- the fourth round-tripper off Danks in the game -- for a 5-1 lead.

Minnesota tacked on a run in the fifth when Plouffe singled, took second a wild pitch and scored on Arcia's second hit of the game. It was 12th hit surrendered by Danks and he soon surrendered the ball to his coach.

"With John, it's one of those games, there're a couple pitches in there, the home runs hurt, but we aren't helping him defensively," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You got to clean (those errors) up and give yourself a chance to come back and score like we did.

"But anytime you are giving them opportunities -- they scored two on giving them extra outs -- you just can't do it. I think the one thing we were really good at last year, we are failing to do it this year."

NOTES: The Twins have gone 13-17 against American League Central teams this season, winning four of their last five. ... The White Sox have committed two errors in a game 10 times this season and are on pace to make 115 -- which would be 45 more than their 2012 total of 70. ... Coming into the game, the Twins were hitting .299 (52-for-174) with 14 doubles, six home runs and 30 runs scored in their last five games against White Sox pitching.
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