Chicago White Sox
are wilting into September, now without one of their sluggers.
As for the
, well, they still have some hope.
Home runs by
in the third inning lifted
and the Twins to yet another Metrodome victory over the collapsing
, 4-1 on Monday.
The Twins crept within 3 1/2 games of first-place Detroit in the AL Central, leaving the
six games back. Minnesota has won 15 of 17 against Chicago in its soon-to-be-vacated domed home.
''There's a completely different feel around here, around our clubhouse,'' Kubel said. ''I think everybody's pretty excited
about the way it's going right now.''
have lost eight of nine overall. They have been so bad on this road trip that manager
joked over the weekend he was stealing money from owner Jerry Reinsdorf. About an hour after the game, right before the deadline
to finalize postseason rosters, the Sox essentially waved their white flag by trading veterans
Thome's 23 homers and 74 RBIs went with cash to the
Los Angeles Dodgers
for minor league infielder Justin Fuller. Contreras was sent to Colorado for a Triple-A pitcher.
''It seems like we can't get anything going. It seems like a dead team,'' Guillen said before the trades went down. ''Maybe
because obviously when you're not hitting, the team looks dead. I don't see any energy.''
Blackburn (9-9) matched his career high with seven strikeouts in seven strong innings, a big boost for his confidence and
the team's struggling staff.
''He was pitching. He wasn't trying to throw too hard or anything like that,'' Mauer said. ''Everything was nice and easy.''
's perfect ninth earned him his 35th save, delighting the crowd of only 19,426, the smallest since April 28, on a night when
the Twins competed with the state fair and a national TV game for Brett Favre and the Vikings.
Those who chose baseball saw the home team's 10th win in its last 13 games, while the
finished August at 11-17.
''Every game we can get is huge for us,'' Blackburn said. ''Especially to beat these guys tonight. As long as we can keep
putting them further behind us, the better it is.''
After striking out looking in the first inning, Mauer crushed the first pitch from
in his at-bat in the third into the upper deck for his 26th homer. The pitch was inside, precisely where Floyd wanted it.
The right-hander said he didn't think anyone could have kept it fair, but Mauer sure did.
''He obviously knows how to hit,'' Floyd said.
Two batters later, Kubel's two-run shot made it 3-0. That was all Blackburn needed.
With the rotation decimated by injuries and a lack of minor league depth, the Twins are desperate for Blackburn to help stabilize
the staff the way he did in the first half. As the deadline to finalize postseason rosters arrived without any more action
by the front office, the Twins are taking a rotation with two rookies into the September stretch drive after recently acquiring
to support their best starter,
The third inning was a good sign Blackburn had his swagger back.
at second base, the right-hander battled through a pesky at-bat by A.J. Pierzynski and struck out the scrappy catcher with
a low fastball the stadium radar flashed at 93 mph. Pierzynski's sacrifice fly in the sixth was the only run Blackburn gave
up. He allowed six hits without a walk.
Floyd (10-9) finished six innings. He has received two runs or less from the
in 12 of his 27 starts, putting him in the bottom 10 in the league for support.
''Our offense has shut it down,'' Guillen said. ''We picked the wrong road trip to struggle.''
NOTES: Tests on
's elbow showed no structural damage. He got hit there by a ball in a recent rehab start, and the elbow stiffened Sunday.
Peavy said he was unable to play catch Monday. ... The Twins activated LHP
from the DL and optioned him to Triple-A. They're not yet counting on help from him or LHP
, on the DL with arm fatigue. RHP
, out all season following shoulder surgery, could be back later in September. ... Thome struck out three times to tie
for second place on the all-time list with 2,306.
is the all-time leader with 2,597. ... Mauer stole his fourth base in the eighth. He wound up catching Pierzynski's throw
in his hand after it glanced off second baseman
's glove and rolled down Mauer's arm.