MINNEAPOLIS -Pitcher Chris Sale struck out eight Minnesota Twins batters and the Chicago White Sox held on for an 8-5 win at Target Field on Saturday night.
The Sox built a 6-3 lead, which looked safe until Ryan Doumit's two-run homer off reliever Nate Jones in the eighth pulled the Twins to within a run.
But Alejandro De Aza answered in the ninth with a two-run homer off reliever Casey Fien and put the game out of reach. Addison Reed came on in the ninth to pick up his 30th save.
Sale kept the Twins hitters off balance early, and then struggled in the third when two balls nearly left the park, but he rallied to blank them for the remainder of his outing. He pitched seven innings and gave up three runs on nine hits and one walk to earn the win.
Twins starter Andrew Albers came back to earth against the White Sox. After two shutouts (one a complete game) in first two career starts, Albers got hit around a bit, but still managed to pitch late into the game.
He threw 97 pitches in seven innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, one walk and three strike outs.
The White Sox hitters appeared to have figured out Albers (who came into the game with an ERA of 0.00), getting to him early. They banged out 12 hits in the game.
With a 5-3 lead in the eighth, the Sox tacked on another when Twins left fielder Josh Willingham lost an Adam Dunn fly ball that fell 10 feet to his right, scoring De Aza.
Willingham tried to atone for his mishap with a lead-off double in the bottom of the eighth. He scored when Doumit hit his 10th homer of the season into the centerfield seats.
The Twins hitters struggled with Sale, but still had 11 hits in the game. They needed a couple more timely hits, leaving four runners in scoring position.
Albers, pitching in his third career game, gave up the first run of his career in the first inning.
De Aza singled to left and moved to third on an Alexei Ramirez popup to short center that the Twins couldn't reach. De Aza then scored on Paul Konerko's ground out to short.
Sale was cruising along, retiring the first eight batters he faced (five of them on strikeouts), when Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier hit back-to-back two-out singles. Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham then hit back-to-back doubles, scoring three runs.
The White Sox responded in the fourth with back-to-back two-out doubles by Dunn and Avisail Garcia, scoring Dunn. Jeff Keppinger walked and Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer giving the Sox back the lead at 5-3.
NOTES: Prior to the game, the White Sox purchased the contract of RHP Jake Petricka from Class Triple A Charlotte and placed RHP Ramon Troncoso on the DL with Pericarditis. ... The Twins have homered in nine straight games -- their longest streak since 2007 when they hit one 11 games in a row. ... The White Sox starters rank third in the AL in ERA (3.81) and fourth in opponents' batting average (.249). ... In the first inning, Andrew Albers snapped his team record consecutive scoreless inning streak for a starter to begin a career at 17-1/3.