Even in winning, Chicago's most recent contest was a microcosm of the young season, as its struggling offense continues to have a difficult time providing run support for a solid pitching staff.
Hector Santiago may be the newest member of the starting rotation, but even he isn't immune to that fact.
Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 4 and hit a two-run single as the White Sox (15-20) scored all their runs in the seventh to avoid a three-game sweep.
Chicago hasn't scored more than seven runs in a game, has the fewest hits (265) and worst on-base percentage (.280) in the majors and ranks last in the AL in batting average (.227) and runs (120).
Adam Dunn is hitting .321 over his last 14 games versus Minnesota, but his 0-for-4 performance Sunday dropped his average to .137 - tied with Twins rookie Aaron Hicks for the worst in baseball among qualifiers."It's one of those (situations that) you need a (pitcher) that can go out and put together a game like (Sunday to) give you a chance," manager Robin Ventura said.
The White Sox are getting plenty of solid pitching and rank second in the AL with a 3.40 team ERA. Santiago (1-1, 1.69 ERA) has done his part, making two solid starts since being moved into the rotation to replace the injured Gavin Floyd , who is out for the season following elbow surgery.
Santiago gave up one run and two hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-1 win over Texas on May 2 before allowing four hits and striking out eight through seven frames of Chicago's 1-0, 10-inning loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA while averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in six career starts.
Santiago's first career start came against the Twins on Sept. 3, giving up one run and three hits while striking out six in five innings of a 4-2 victory. However, he allowed the game-winning run while coming out of the bullpen in Chicago's 2-1, 10-inning loss on April 20.
The Twins then swept the two-game road series as Josh Willingham drove in three runs in a 5-3 victory the following day. Willingham, though, is just 1 for his last 18 for an offense that hopes get back on track after falling 6-0 to Baltimore on Sunday.
Joe Mauer went 2 for 3, has 10 doubles in his last seven games and is hitting .444 (20 for 45) during an 11-game hitting streak for the Twins (17-17), who had won four of five.
"Through a 162-game season, you're going to have one of those games where you don't get runners on board and you don't score them," said third baseman Trevor Plouffe , who is 3 for 17 over his last four.
Minnesota will look to bounce back with help from Hernandez (1-1, 5.96), who was acquired from the White Sox on July 29 in the Francisco Liriano deal after making one start for Chicago.
The left-hander has struggled since picking up his first career victory against Texas on April 27 and was tagged for six runs and seven hits in two innings of the Twins' 15-8 win at Boston on Wednesday.
Minnesota has lost five straight and 13 of its last 16 home meetings with Chicago.
|Chicago White Sox|
|May 02, 2013||Dewayne Wise||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|May 02, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|April 28, 2013||Gavin Floyd||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|April 22, 2013||Hector Gimenez||Day-to-Day||Left shin|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
|April 16, 2013||Darin Mastroianni||15-Day DL||Stress reaction in left ankle|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Scott Diamond||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Ron Gardenhire has seen center fielders like Kirby Puckett , Torii Hunter and Ben Revere make some spectacular catches during his time coaching and managing the Minnesota Twins .
After Monday night, he's adding Aaron Hicks to the list.
Hicks hit two home runs and made a leaping catch in center field to take a home run away from Adam Dunn in the Twins' 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
"We've definitely had our share of great ones here and that ranks right up there," Gardenhire said. "That catch is going to rank right up there, especially the moment he caught the ball. A big moment, a big play."
Justin Morneau extended his hitting streak to nine games with three hits and four RBIs, including a bases-clearing double that capped the scoring in the eighth.
Hicks, who missed the previous two games due to a sore right elbow, led off the fourth inning with a 416-foot solo homer that bounced in front of the black batter's eye in center field and gave the Twins a 5-2 lead.
With a runner on third and the Twins holding a 5-3 lead in the sixth, Dunn drove a pitch from reliever Josh Roenicke deep to center that appeared to be headed for the same spot Hicks' blast landed. However, the Twins' rookie sprinted back, leaped high, and caught the ball above the wall, falling to the ground and grinning as he opened his glove to show the ball to the umpire.
After getting congratulated by teammates jogging off the field, Hicks hit his second home run in the bottom of the sixth, this one landing in the bullpen in left-center.
"Right after the catch I felt amazing, I felt loose. To hit that one, it just capped it off," Hicks said.
Fans at Target Field stood and cheered for a curtain call, and Hicks finally obliged after Pedro Florimon popped out.
"I heard `em, but it's my first one so I don't really know," said Hicks, whose teammates doused him with Gatorade and shaving cream after the game. "Morneau's saying, `Hey these don't happen that often.' Florimon ended up popping out, so I had to kind of wait. Then I went out and got it."
Dunn and Hicks entered the game tied for the lowest batting average in baseball (.137) among qualifiers. When the night was over, Hicks' average was .152 and Dunn's .133.
"Yeah, the kid made a great play," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura , whose team allowed three unearned runs. "I think that one was one he hit well, but you don't get anything out of it. But again we are not helping ourselves on the other side."
Twins starter Pedro Hernandez (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander, who came to the Twins in a trade with the White Sox for Francisco Liriano , retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced after giving up two runs in the first inning.
Alex Rios had two RBIs for the White Sox, who are last in the American League in batting average and runs scored. Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez each had three hits.
Hector Santiago (1-2) allowed six runs - three earned - on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had only allowed one earned run in his previous two starts.
The Twins loaded the bases with nobody out and took advantage of Ramirez's error at shortstop to score four runs in the third. The inning was capped by Trevor Plouffe 's two-run double.
"Yeah, it seems like every day we have one play that could change the game and it does wind up changing the game," Santiago said. "I mean that play there, if he makes that play we are out of it and we're up 2-0. You can keep the pitch count down. It was a big play in the game, and of late it's been something like that, just one play each and every game."
The White Sox loaded the bases against Jared Burton in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie grounded out to first.
NOTES: White Sox LHP Chris Sale , who threw a one-hit shutout in Sunday's win against Los Angeles, woke up in pain with an abscessed tooth that needed to be pulled. Manager Robin Ventura said that won't affect Sale's next start, a rematch on the road against the Angels. ... White Sox LHP John Danks gave up three runs in six innings on Sunday in a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte. Recovering from shoulder surgery last August, Danks will make at least one more start in the minors, Ventura said ... Florimon, who missed all three games of the series over the weekend against Baltimore because of a tight right hamstring, returned to the lineup. ... Kevin Correia (4-2) face Jake Peavy (4-1) on Tuesday in the second game of this three-game series.