MINNEAPOLIS -- Trying to erase memories of his poor hitting start to the season, rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks led the Minnesota Twins to a 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday at Target Field.
Hicks hit two solo home runs and robbed White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn of one in the best game of his young career.
Minnesota lefty Pedro Hernandez, who had a rocky start, found his groove and lasted 5 1/3 innings.
Hernandez (2-0) threw 31 pitches in the first inning but settled down in the second, when he made only six pitches. At one point, he set down 10 straight batters. He gave up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
The White Sox got to Hernandez in the sixth. Alejandro De Aza hit his second single of the game, moved to third on Alexei Ramirez's double and scored on an Alex Rios groundout, cutting the Twins' lead to 5-3.
With Ramirez on third, Dunn hit a long fly ball, and Hicks ran straight back to the center field wall and leaped at the last second to pull back a certain home run for the third out.
Hicks followed it up in the bottom half of the inning with a blast of his own to center for his second home run of the game. He increased his season (and career) homer total to three, and he raised his batting average to .152.
Both homers came off White Sox starter Hector Santiago, who started strong but ran into trouble in the fourth. Santiago (1-2) went 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on eight hits and one walk. He struck out six.
The White Sox, who got to Hernandez early, ended up with 10 hits in the game. The Twins had 12, the last Justin Morneau's bases-clearing double in the eighth inning for his third hit of the game.
The White Sox's first three batters of the game collected hits, leading to two runs.
De Aza and Ramirez singled, and Rios doubled, scoring Aza and moving Ramirez to third. Dayan Viciedo scored Ramirez with a sacrifice fly.
The Twins came back in the third by also getting their first three batters on base: a double by Pedro Florimon, a Brian Dozier single and a Joe Mauer walk. Morneau hit a broken-back grounder past the pitcher that shortstop Ramirez couldn't handle, scoring Florimon. Ryan Doumit drove in Mauer with a sacrifice fly, and Trevor Plouffe knocked in two more with a double to center.
In the fourth inning, Hicks homered over the center field fence to extend the Twins' lead to 5-2.
NOTES: The Twins pitchers took batting practice in preparation of interleague play on the road in Atlanta and Milwaukee coming up. ... Minnesota began the night ranked third in baseball in team batting average with two strikes, hitting .213. Mauer is second individually in all of baseball in that category, hitting .326. ... The White Sox have been involved in 16 one-run games, which ties them with Arizona for most in the majors. They are 7-9 in those games... Twins outfielders have recorded 14 outfield assists, which is the most in baseball.