Twins score late to top White Sox 4-2
MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer's RBI double with two on and nobody out in the eighth inning helped lead the Minnesota Twins to a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday at soggy Target Field.
A two-hour rain stoppage delayed the major league debut of Twins starter Yohan Pino, who at 30 years and 175 days, became the oldest player in team history to make his big-league debut. Pino was solid, keeping the Twins in the game late enough for their struggling offense to deliver.
With the game tied at two entering the bottom of the eighth, shortstop Danny Santana and second baseman Brian Dozier chopped singles through holes in the infield to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Mauer came through with a double down the left field line to score Santana and move Dozier to third. He scored on a one-out sacrifice fly to center by catcher Kurt Suzuki.
Mauer singled and doubled in four plate appearances and drove in two as Minnesota snapped a season-long five-game losing streak.
Pino didn't figure into the decision, but tossed seven innings of two-run ball, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out seven. Both runs he allowed were earned and came in a rocky third inning, where the White Sox strung together a pair of singles and walk to load the bases for third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who shot a single up the middle, driving in two.
But Chicago only got two more hits the rest of the way. Casey Fien atoned for his disastrous outing Wednesday in Boston by pitching a spotless eighth on just five pitches to earn his fourth win. Glen Perkins worked the ninth for his 18th save.
Chicago lefty Jose Quintana matched Pino inning for inning, allowing only two runs on six hits and a walk while whiffing six in seven innings. He also left with a no-decision.
Minnesota took the lead in the bottom of the second when left fielder Josh Willingham hit a mammoth home run just inside the foul pole in left. The homer, which came on a 2-2 fastball, was Willingham's sixth of the season.
After Chicago scored two in the top of the third, Minnesota evened the game in the bottom of the inning on a sinking line drive to left by Mauer, driving Santana, who doubled two batters earlier.
Pino got through his first inning on 13 pitches, striking out the first two hitters he faced. In eight starts this season -- seven with Triple-A Rochester and one with the Twins -- Pino retired the side in order in the first inning each time.
Minnesota gave the rookie a lead in the bottom of the second when left fielder Josh Willingham hit a mammoth home run just inside the left field foul pole. The homer, which came on a 2-2 fastball, was Willingham's sixth of the season.
The White Sox got to Pino in the third inning, stringing together two singles and a walk to load the bases Gillaspie, who singled sharply up the middle, driving in two.
The Twins tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the inning on a sinking line drive to left by Mauer. The single drove in Santana, who doubled with one out.