The last-place Chicago White Sox are surely glad to see one of the AL Central's best teams leave town.
They, however, haven't had much home success against the lowly Minnesota Twins of late, either.
The White Sox try to avoid a seventh consecutive loss in Monday night's series opener against the Twins.
Loser in 15 of 17, Chicago (58-91) is coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of second-place Cleveland. The White Sox, who have been outscored 42-7 during their six-game skid, saw their woes continue in Sunday's 7-1 defeat.
Chicago is now 33 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 64-97 in 1976.
"We come in every game trying to win it, and they outplayed us for four games," said first baseman Adam Dunn , who is 5 for his last 54. "You can take getting beat, but when they just flat out outplay, they pitch better and they hit better, they just outplay you."
Despite taking three of four at Minnesota from Aug. 15-18, Chicago has dropped 10 of 16 in the series, including five of six at home.
The Twins (64-84) had lost four straight by a 36-5 margin and eight of 10 before beating Tampa Bay 6-4 on Sunday. Ryan Doumit hit his 13th homer in the eighth inning and rookie Josmil Pinto followed with a go-ahead three-run shot.
"We talked about if we were really getting after it, and today I thought we really got after it," manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB's official website. "It was a good win for us. A really good win against a team in playoff contention there. We needed that one. That's a boost."
The Twins now turn to Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.25 ERA). The right-hander allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings Tuesday but didn't factor in the decision of a 4-3 win over Oakland.
Hendriks has gone 2-12 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 career starts while receiving an average of just 3.61 runs of support.
"It gets a little frustrating, but that's how it goes," he said. "Hopefully, I can stay here long enough to let it swing the other way, and I go on a streak. I'm starting to feel good, and (have been) keeping the team in the game."
Hendriks is 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA in three matchups against the White Sox. He surrendered two runs in 6 1-3 innings in a 3-2, 10-inning road win Aug. 9.
Chicago gives the ball to rookie Erik Johnson (0-2, 4.66) for his third big league start. The right-hander yielded six runs - two earned - in 3 2-3 innings Tuesday in a 9-1 loss to Detroit.
"I had some tough breaks out there, but I thought I attacked the zone as best I could," Johnson said after his defense committed four errors. "I could have worked ahead of a few more hitters, of course, and put myself in a better situation."
Johnson will need to be careful against Oswaldo Arcia , who is 6 for 19 with three homers and two doubles in his last four games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Chicago's Alexei Ramirez is hitting .383 with three homers, six doubles and 10 RBIs during a 14-game stretch against the Twins.
The White Sox have dropped 24 of their last 30 home games against division foes.
|Alejandro De Aza||6||.333||2||0||1||0||0||.333||1.000||.667|
|August 30, 2013||Samuel Deduno||60-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|August 30, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||60-Day DL||Fractured left tibia|
|August 29, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left shin injury|
|August 20, 2013||Joe Mauer||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 16, 2013||Oswaldo Arcia||Day-to-Day||Sore wrist|
|August 08, 2013||Ryan Doumit||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|Chicago White Sox|
|September 08, 2013||Avisail Garcia||Day-to-Day||Pulled teeth|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|September 02, 2013||Tyler Flowers||60-Day DL||Right shoulder surgery - out for season|
|August 20, 2013||Jeff Keppinger||Day-to-Day||Stiff lower back|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
|August 16, 2013||Ramon Troncoso||15-Day DL||Pericarditis|
CHICAGO (AP) -- The White Sox gave Erik Johnson plenty of offensive support in the first inning to coast to his first major league victory.
Johnson pitched six scoreless innings, and Chicago scored seven runs in the opening frame en route to a 12-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night.
The White Sox, who had lost six straight and 15 of 17, broke out of their hitting funk against Liam Hendriks and the Twins. Chicago scored a season high in runs and posted its biggest margin of victory this year.
It was a needed boost for the White Sox after they lost four straight to Cleveland. Chicago manager Robin Ventura even gave credit to the announced 960 dogs who were in the park for the team's Dog Day promotion.
"You could say that. It's good, I think, for the lineup to have a night like this with a lot of guys swinging the bats," Ventura said. "If we need dogs to show up every night, we'll go ahead and make that happen."
Johnson (1-2), whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 3, was the beneficiary of the offense. He had allowed 11 runs - but only five earned - in his two losses. Johnson blanked the Twins and gave up only four hits. He struck out eight and walked two.
"It's definitely one to remember," Johnson said. "It's one under your belt, so now you can take a deep breath and go back to work. It's nice to have that run support in the first inning."
After not having led since beating the Tigers 5-1 a week earlier, the White Sox had six hits in the first. Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez both reached base twice and scored in the inning.
Ramirez went 4 for 4 with his fifth home run and three runs batted in, and was a triple short of the cycle. Adam Dunn , Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks also homered.
During their skid, the White Sox scored a total of seven runs. They matched that in the first inning and equaled their eighth-inning performance against Detroit on July 9 for most runs scored in a frame this year.
It was the White Sox's highest-scoring first inning since they had eight runs against Detroit on April 21, 2002.
"It's always nice to get run support like that," Johnson said. "I think for me it was getting that zero in the top of the first. That kind of set the rhythm for me."
Hendriks (1-3) didn't come close to a clean first inning. The rout cut off the momentum the Twins generated with a come-from-behind victory over playoff-contending Tampa Bay on Sunday.
After rallying from a three-run deficit one day earlier, the Twins were routed. Hendriks struggled badly, extending his winless streak to three starts.
He got only two outs against Chicago and gave up seven runs, five hits, and three walks in his 10-batter outing.
It marked the first time the Twins allowed that many runs in the first inning since the opening game of a doubleheader against Kansas City on July 28, 1997.
"I felt good in the windup. I missed a couple of pitches, got some weak contact, but after that I couldn't get into a rhythm, I couldn't get into a flow. That was embarrassing," Hendriks said. "That's the only way to put it. Embarrassing, disappointing. I don't know what else to say about that one."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was certainly ready to move on, too.
"We just have to go out and regroup for (Tuesday). Hopefully, our starting pitcher ( Mike Pelfrey ) will give us a shot and keep us in the ballgame. Tonight was just one of those nights," Gardenhire said. "Their guy threw the ball decent, but we got behind so quickly we couldn't do anything."
NOTES: White Sox OF Avisail Garcia wasn't in the lineup for the second straight day. Garcia's wife, Anakarina, gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Annarella, on Monday. ... Dunn said this has been "another wasted season" because Chicago will miss the playoffs. Dunn has never been in the postseason. ... C Bryan Anderson went 0 for 4 and was the only Chicago starter not to have a hit. ... Twins SS Pedro Florimon was ejected by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after the seventh inning. Florimon was still upset about being called out on strikes in the top of the inning (his third strikeout in three at-bats). He said something to Marquez as he left his defensive position at the end of the inning. ... Justin Morneau was announced as Minnesota's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, even though he was traded to Pittsburgh at the end of August. ... Pelfrey (5-12, 5.31) will face Chicago's Jose Quintana (7-6, 3.56) on Tuesday.