CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Rios homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Rios hit a grand slam in the first inning and a two-run shot in the sixth to help extend Chicago’s lead in the AL Central to 1 1/2 games over Detroit, which plays Wednesday night.
The Twins erupted for 18 runs against Chicago pitching Tuesday, but White Sox starter Jake Peavy (10-10) silenced Minnesota’s bats a day later, allowing one run on six hits to win for the first time since Aug. 1.
Rios gave Peavy all the support he would need with his first-inning slam. Following Dewayne Wise’s leadoff single and walks to Kevin Youkilis and Adam Dunn, Rios ripped a 1-1 pitch from P.J. Walters (2-3) over the left field bullpen for his second career grand slam.
Rios hit his first on Sept. 10, 2011 — a game-winner against Cleveland.
The resurgent 31-year-old then hit a two-run homer in the sixth to chase Walters. It was Rios’ third multihomer game this year and sixth of his career.
Walters, who tossed his first career complete game at U.S. Cellular Field in May, was not as fortunate this time. He made two big mistakes to Rios, but Walters also issued three walks — all of which came around to score.
Walters was charged with six runs over five-plus innings as the Twins lost for the 11th time in 15 games against Chicago this season.
An offense that tormented White Sox pitching a night earlier was virtually nonexistent on Wednesday. The Twins had multiple runners on in three of the first six innings, but managed to scratch just one run off Peavy — on a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Escobar in the third.
Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee had two hits apiece for Minnesota, and Matt Carson drove in a run with a sac fly in the ninth.
The White Sox had won just one of their last 10 games against AL Central opponents.
Notes: Twins OF Josh Willingham (hamstring) did not start Wednesday for the second time in three games. He flew out as pinch-hitter in the ninth to end the game. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he hopes Willingham can play in the field Friday in the series opener against Cleveland. … RHP Liam Hendricks (0-7, 6.11 ERA) will take the hill to open Minnesota’s homestand Friday. … After a day off Thursday, the White Sox continue their homestand against Kansas City with LHP Francisco Liriano (5-11, 5.11) on the mound.
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