Twins swept, drop to 4-9 since All-Star break
White Sox win three straight
CHICAGO —Ron Gardenhire was in no mood to sugarcoat his team’s performance after the Twins were swept for the eighth time this year.
“Just a terrible series by us,” the Minnesota manager 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.”
Nick Blackburn was roughed up for a season-high eight runs in Wednesday’s 8-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Minnesota dropped to 4-9 since the All-Star break.
“An ugly game by us,” Gardenhire said.
Although Minnesota only committed one error, Gardenhire noticed other miscues.
“We had the ball knuckle on us in center. We didn’t know how many outs there were. We can just go on and on,” Gardenhire said.
Tyler Flowers’ fly ball in the fourth inning bounced away from Denard Span for a double. In the third inning, Paul Konerko hit a one out sacrifice fly to Ryan Doumit, who was making only his third start in left field. Doumit caught the ball and started running in, unaware that was only the second out.
It was just as bad at the plate for the Twins. With bases loaded and no outs in the first inning, Minnesota managed only one run against White Sox starter Jake Peavy (8-7), with Josh Willingham hitting a run-scoring, double-play grounder to third.
Minnesota had runners on second and third with no outs in the fourth, but Peavy struck out Doumit, Brian Dozier and Alexi Casilla.
“Another game where we had runners in scoring position,” Gardenhire said.
Blackburn (4-6) allowed 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
“There were a lot of balls that weren’t well hit that dropped through,” he said. “Then they just started to be aggressive with my fastball. I was just falling behind.”
Temperatures hovered near the mid-90’s throughout the game.
“I was tired,” Peavy said. “It was so humid. One of the hotter days I can ever recall pitching in.”
Dayan 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.
Span had two doubles for Minnesota. Morneau’s double in the fourth was the 250th of his career, but the supporting cast couldn’t do much about it. The Twins went 3 for 31 with runners in scoring position for the series and left 23 runners on base.
Former Twin Jesse Crain walked the bases loaded in the ninth before Ben Revere hit a routine grounder to shortstop to end the game.
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.