MINNEAPOLIS -- The Chicago White Sox struck early and late, but the Minnesota Twins struck often on their way to a 7-4 victory Wednesday night at Target Field.
Minnesota right-hander Kevin Correia had his best outing in June as the Twins took the second game of the three-game series.
Correia got back on track after a series of so-so performances (three no-decisions in June). He gave up a home run to the leadoff batter but immediately settled down and pitched 6 2/3 strong innings. Correia (6-4) gave up two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out five.
"Correia did fantastic," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Changing speeds, using all of his pitches, moving it in and out. Facing a very good pitcher out there. He was good. Kevin has been throwing very well for us."
White Sox starter Chris Sale (5-6) had an uncharacteristically inconsistent outing. He threw 101 pitches in five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, two walks (one intentional), two hit batters and a wild pitch. He struck out five. The eight hits matched the most he's allowed in a start this year.
Sale exited with the Twins ahead 4-1, and Minnesota added three runs against reliever Deunte Heath in the sixth. Justin Morneau capped the rally with a two-run homer, his first home run in 190 plate appearances and third of the season, to give the Twins a 7-1 lead.
The Sox tacked on a run in the seventh, with a two-out double by Conor Gillaspie and an RBI single by Dayan Viciedo, to chase Correia from the game.
Adam Dunn hit a two-run single in the eight for the final margin.
Twins closer Glen Perkins threw a perfect ninth inning, striking out two, for his 18th save of the season.
"It came late, but it's tough even for (Sale) that you have to feel like you have to throw up a one or a two to be able to survive," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his team's run support. "That's not good for any pitcher to think they have to go out there and do that."
The White Sox didn't take long to open the scoring, however. Alejandro De Aza hit a two-strike pitch over the right field fence for his fourth leadoff home run of the season (eighth of his career).
"(I) felt pretty good," Correia said. "(I) got off to a rough start with a solo home run to start the game, but it went pretty good after that."
Sale had a tough second inning. Oswaldo Arcia drilled a shot back up the box that spun Sale around and then to the dirt. Two batters later, Pedro Florimon grounded to first and then ran into Sale when the pitcher covered the base. Twice the training staff visited Sale to see if he was OK.
Brian Dozier, who was restored to Minnesota's leadoff spot, hit a three-run homer with two outs to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.
"There were a couple things there as far as his knee covering first base," Ventura said when asked if Sales was injured. "I don't know if that contributed to it. After that they got him. So it's one of those, I don't know how much (it affected him), but it was enough that it got him off his game enough that they had some good at-bats and put some guys on base and put pressure on him."
Gardenhire said of Dozier, "(He was on base) four out of five times, "That's what you hope for when you put a guy up there. Then he came up with a big at-bat and hit the bomb, which was huge for us. He was in the right spot tonight."
Though he stayed in the game, Sale may not have been himself, as he gave up three straight hits in the third, with Willingham scoring on Trevor Plouffe's single to make it 4-1.
NOTES: The Twins are 5-2 against the White Sox this season, outscoring them 37-29, and four of the seven meetings have been decided by two runs or fewer. ... The White Sox have lost 14 of their last 16 road games to fall to 13-53, which is the lowest road winning record in the AL and third worst in the major leagues. ... Coming into the game, the White Sox bullpen owned a 2.60 ERA for the month of June. Chicago relievers have allowed just 14 home runs this year -- the fewest in the major leagues.