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Herrmann, Twins walk off with win

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- As a backup catcher and right fielder, Minnesota Twins rookie Chris Herrmann knows he's got to take advantage of the few opportunities he gets.

He came through in the clutch Thursday, delivering a pinch-hit, ninth-inning single that gave the Minnesota Twins a 4-3, walk-off win over the Chicago White Sox at Target Field.

"It felt good," Herrmann said. "Came in got one at-bat and made it count, got a base hit and got the game-winning run for us. It's a moment I am never going to forget, and hopefully there will be more to come."

The White Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the early innings, and the Twins pecked away until finally tying the game in the eighth and winning it in the ninth.

Trevor Plouffe, who homered earlier, led off the ninth with single past third base. He took second on a passed ball, and White Sox reliever Ramon Troncoso (1-4) walked Chris Colabello. Clete Thomas' bunt attempt resulted in a force at third base.

Doug Bernier then ran for Colabello, and Herrmann hit a shot past first base to knock in the winning run.

In the eighth, Joe Mauer hit a one-out double off Chicago right-hander Nate Jones to the gap in left center. Justin Morneau squeezed a single between second and first to score Mauer and tie the game.

"He's been through that before," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Jones facing two tough left-handed hitters, Mauer and Morneau. "He's been tough on lefties and righties. So you are going with what you feel comfortable with, and you're comfortable having him staying in there. They were just better tonight."

White Sox rookie right-hander Andre Rienzo threw 93 pitches in six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

"It was a good performance, but you feel bad for him because he's pitched pretty good and hasn't really had anything to show for it," Ventura said. "They scratched away and end up beating you, but the kid pitched pretty good."

Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey limited the White Sox to the three early runs. He settled down to last 6 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out four and walking one. With the no-decision, Pelfrey remains winless in his past seven starts.

"Pelfrey was better, no doubt about it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He made them swing the bats. He was better throwing the ball over the plate, which was a step in the right direction.

The Twins' fourth pitcher, Jared Burton (2-6), threw a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win.

With Minnesota down 3-1 in the sixth, Brian Dozier reached on an error by shortstop Alexei Ramirez and moved to second on Mauer's groundout. Dozier scored on Josh Willingham's single to center.

The White Sox hit Pelfrey right out of the gate, collecting two runs on three hits in the first inning. Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham singled, and Adam Dunn knocked in De Aza with a single to center. Gordon scored on Paul Konerko's sacrifice fly.

In the third, De Aza walked, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Ramirez's sacrifice fly to left for an early 3-0 lead.

"I am encouraged by the way it finished rather than the way it started," Pelfrey said. "Giving up two runs in the first is never the way you want to start a game. Overall, I thought the command was better, coming off a five-walk game with a hit batter. It was definitely better."

Plouffe homered to center in the fifth, cutting the Twins' deficit to 3-1.

NOTES: White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham left the game in the fourth inning with a right quad strain. Jeff Keppinger replaced him. ... When the teams met in Chicago last weekend, the Twins hit 11 home runs while winning three times in the four-game series. ... The White Sox have four pitchers on their rotation who are 25 years old or younger, including Rienzo (25). ... Burton, who lost his eighth-inning setup job earlier in the season, hasn't allowed a run in 19 consecutive appearances (17 1/3 innings).

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