Quentin, Buehrle Help White Sox Snap Skid
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When asked if his team’s come-from-behind win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night will snap the Chicago White Sox out of their funk, manager Ozzie Guillen shrugged.
“Sometimes I put my hopes so high, then a few days later I have a broken heart,” he said.
One thing Guillen can count on is Mark Buehrle.
Carlos Quentin hit two home runs and had four RBIs, Buehrle was sharp after a rough first inning, and the White Sox beat the Twins 5-3 to snap a six-game losing streak.
Buehrle (9-5) allowed three unearned runs and four hits over eight innings, extending his streak of allowing three runs or fewer to 17 straight games.
All three runs against Buehrle came in the first inning and were unearned because of an error by first baseman Adam Dunn.
After Jason Kubel gave the Twins a 3-1 lead with a two-run homer, Buehrle got into his familiar groove of working quickly and retired 22 of the last 24 hitters he faced.
“Luck? I don’t know,” Buehrle said when asked how he’s managed to run off this streak late in his career. “It’s everything. I can’t put my finger on just one thing.”
Chris Sale pitched the ninth for his third save in four chances.
The White Sox — third in the AL Central — needed Quentin’s 14th multi-homer game of his career to get back to winning and beat the Twins for the just the 11th time in their last 13 games.
His two-run shot in the fifth off starter Nick Blackburn (7-9) gave Chicago the lead for good.
“Quentin is one of those guys that can run off five or six home runs with the best of them,” Juan Pierre said. “We’ll jump on his shoulders when need be.”
The Twins honored the 1991 World Series championship team during a pregame ceremony and gave away a bobblehead commemorating the famous play in Game 2 where Ron Gant was called out at first after Kent Hrbek appeared to wrestle him off the base.
The current Twins could use some of that fighter mentality as they fade back out of contention.
Minnesota arrived home at 5:30 a.m. Friday after going 4-6 on a West Coast trip, and are nine games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
A common theme during the Twins’ slide has been lackluster starting pitching and an offense that shows no life after falling behind. The Twins managed two hits after falling behind in the fifth.
While Blackburn needed 90 pitches to get through 5 1-3 innings, Buehrle needed only 94 through eight.
“To be honest, I looked up there in the fifth inning at my pitch count and I thought it was higher than what it was, Buehrle said. “Just everything is working right now.”
The White Sox did not draw a walk while getting swept by the Yankees earlier this week. Before the game, Guillen chalked it up to guys wanting to single-handedly break the team out its slump and being overly aggressive.
The White Sox were patient against the normally accurate Blackburn, however. Paul Konerko drew the first walk three batters into the game and Chicago coaxed a career-high six walks from Blackburn.
“Just trying to pick around the plate a little bit too much,” Blackburn said. “With the way things have been going, I haven’t really been trusting my pitches lately and tonight everything was down in the strike zone, I had good movement, but I wasn’t relaxing enough.”
The White Sox left the bases loaded twice, were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners.
They managed to get one run home with the bases loaded when Alexei Ramirez scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.
“This is the White Sox up and down, unpredictable team,” Guillen said.
Joe Mauer — getting another start at first base — drove in the Twins’ other run with a single in the first.
Jim Thome, who needs two more home runs to reach 600, did not play against his former team. Center fielder Denard Span returned from a concussion earlier this week, but sat out Friday.
Notes: The White Sox announced after that game that RHP Zach Stewart will be called up to start Saturday’s game in place of RHP Jake Peavy. Peavy will be pushed back to Sunday. Reliever Brian Bruney was designated for assignment to make room for Stewart. … Guillen on Thome possibly hitting his 600th home run this weekend: “I hope if he hits it, it’s not to win the game. But I want to see it.” … White Sox CF Alex Rios, hitting .153 in his last 22 games, didn’t start, but pinch-ran for Konerko in the eighth. … Twins 2B Alexi Casilla (right hamstring) took grounders before the game and is on track to return next week. … Twins 1B Justin Morneau began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. … Buehrle’s streak of 17 games allowing three runs or fewer is tied with Dave Lemonds for the longest in White Sox history. … Carl Pavano starts for the Twins on Saturday night against Stewart. … Stewart is making his first start since coming over in a trade with the Blue Jays. … Pavano is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA against the White Sox this season. … Konerko’s walk in the first inning was the first time a White Sox hitter drew a walk in 133 plate appearances. … Kubel’s home run was the 100th of his career and 20th against the White Sox. … Quentin’s last multi-homer game was June 8 against Seattle. … Twins 3B Danny Valencia committed his 15th error in 105 games. He had six errors in 81 games last season.
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