CHICAGO(AP) As the weather heats up in Chicago,
and his teammates start to see a rise in their batting averages.
Coming off a 1-6 road trip and scoring an AL-low 3.9 runs per game this season, the
were greeted at U.S. Cellular Field by 80-degree temperatures, clear skies and friendly breezes.
The result: two high-scoring victories over the slumping
, including Wednesday night's 7-4 decision.
''When it gets warm here, this ballpark turns into a smaller park than it is,'' said Dye, whose grand slam capped a seven-run
fourth inning and helped the
win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks.
''It lets you go up there and feel comfortable, and guys are starting to get in the swing of things,'' said Dye, who also
homered in the series opener. ''So far, so good. We knew this was a big homestand for us.''
Wednesday's grand slam was the eighth of Dye's career. Since joining the
before the 2005 season, he leads all AL outfielders with 147 homers.
''Third time facing a guy, you have a feeling that if he swings at a strike it's going to be hit hard,'' said
, whose two-run homer started the
fourth-inning barrage. ''We've seen it so many times before.''
So have the Twins. They have lost 10 of 11 in Chicago, getting outscored 79-36, and have allowed at least one homer in each
of their last 20 games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Then again, winning anywhere has been a challenge for the Twins lately. They have a season-high six-game losing streak - all
on their current road trip, which ends Thursday in Chicago.
''When you're winning it seems like everything goes right, and it's the exact opposite ... when you're losing,''
said. ''There's only one way to reverse that, and it's to continue fighting, continue busting it and hopefully things change.''
Getting a few timely hits and making some big pitches would help. The Twins are batting .118 with runners in scoring position
during the road trip and haven't gotten a victory from a starting pitcher in eight games.
''When you keep missing opportunities and your starters don't get through five innings, you're not going to win games,'' Minnesota
said. ''(Twins starter
) needs to make one pitch to get out of the inning and he just couldn't do it.
, it just looked like he threw it right down the middle.''
Liriano (2-5) gave up seven runs on seven hits and three walks over four innings.
(3-3) allowed five hits and two earned runs over 5 2-3 innings to win for the first time in nearly a month.
After Danks surrendered Cuddyer's two-run homer in the sixth,
combined for 3 1-3 innings of one-hit relief. Jenks pitched the ninth for his ninth save in as many chances.
's error on a potential double-play grounder helped the Twins take a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
had an RBI single and
added a sacrifice fly.
immediately responded, sending 10 batters to the plate in their half of the inning. In addition to the homers by Dye and Konerko,
singled in a run.
Notes: The right-handed Dye, who usually excels against lefties, was batting only .133 vs. them this season until he took
Liriano deep. ... Twins LHP
, on the DL since Monday, underwent an MRI that showed inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow. ... Fields is
batting .122 in his last 11 games and has struck out 43 times in 133 at-bats this season.
said he'll bench the 3B ''if he keeps doing what he's doing.'' ... Twins C
extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ...
, who missed his fifth straight game with a heel injury, hopes to be back Friday against Pittsburgh.