White Sox Win 8-2, Sweep Twins
CHICAGO (AP) — Dayan Viciedo showed his resiliency, and so did the Chicago White Sox.
Viciedo homered and drove in four runs to make up for some defensive miscues, and the White Sox beat Minnesota 8-2 Wednesday for a three-game sweep of the last-place Twins.
Viciedo hit a two-run single in the second inning and added a two-run homer in the fourth, finishing with three hits. Alex Rios also homered for the White Sox, who have won 10 of their last 11 home games.
“You get that feeling back,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s one thing to go through a tough stretch and start winning games again, expecting that. Part of this three-game series, you get back, the guys swinging the bats pretty good and guys pitching fairly well.”
Jake Peavy (8-7) allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits in six innings with six strikeouts and two walks. Chicago went into Wednesday night atop the AL Central with a half-game lead Detroit, which swept the White Sox over the weekend.
“These three games we just played good team baseball,” Peavy said. “It’s nice to come back after the road trip we had. We had a short homestand, but we played well, got back on track.”
Kevin Youkilis left the game in the fourth inning due to a sprained left ankle. He rolled it rounding first on an RBI single in the third and was lifted for a pinch hitter.
Youkilis called the move “precautionary” and said he will be ready to play Friday at Texas.
Nick Blackburn (4-6) gave up a season-high eight runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings as the Twins fell a season-worst 18 games below .500. Minnesota went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position, stranded nine runners and lost to the White Sox for the 15th time in their last 19 meetings.
“Just a terrible series by us,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But a very good series by the other team. They whacked it, and they pounded us — scored a lot of runs, and we got dominated here.”
Peavy got into a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the first, but allowed only one run. Josh Willingham grounded into a double play, and Justin Morneau grounded out.
Viciedo misplayed Joe Mauer’s fly ball to left leading off the fourth for an error, Willingham walked and Mauer scored on Morneau’s double. But with runners on second and third, Peavy struck out Ryan Doumit, Brian Dozier and Alexi Casilla.
Viciedo’s miscue snapped a 109-game errorless streak. It was his first error since moving to the outfield from third base in 2011.
“You work hard at (defense) and you figure at some point (an error) might happen,” Viciedo said through a translator. “Unfortunately for me, today was that day. Just go out there and keep practicing so it doesn’t happen again.”
The 23-year-old Cuban responded with his 16th homer of the season in the bottom half, a 409-foot, two-run drive over the center-field wall for a 6-2 lead.
“What he’s doing offensively as far as his approach, you can tell by the way he’s hitting the ball, just the velocity coming off the bat that he feels pretty good at the plate,” Ventura said.
Viciedo got into more trouble in the fifth when he failed to catch Denard Span’s one-out line drive — ruled a double. Viciedo tumbled forward, bending his left wrist as he fell to the ground.
Ventura and a White Sox trainer came out to check on Viciedo, who recovered to make a nice retreating catch on Mauer’s fly ball and strand Span at second.
Rios’ two-run homer in the fifth chased Blackburn, who allowed eight earned runs for the first time since Sept. 28, 2010, at Kansas City.
Span had two doubles for Minnesota. Morneau’s double in the fourth was the 250th of his career.
NOTES: White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski (mild right oblique strain) sat out for the second consecutive game. Ventura expects Pierzynski to return Friday. “He could play, but we don’t want him to re-injure it and be out for any longer than he has to be,” Ventura said. … Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe (bruised right thumb) missed his fifth straight game. Gardenhire said a trip to the 15-day DL is possible if Plouffe doesn’t improve by Friday’s series opener against Cleveland. … Scott Diamond (8-4, 3.16 ERA) will pitch the series opener for the Twins against the Indians’ Josh Tomlin (5-7, 5.34). … Chris Sale (11-3, 2.37) starts for Chicago against Yu Darvish (11-6, 3.88) at Texas on Friday.
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