<
>

Perez, Valentin hit 2-run homers for Chicago

5/21/2004

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Mark Buehrle dominated the Minnesota Twins
again, and the Chicago White Sox gave him plenty of run support.

Buehrle pitched seven solid innings, and Timo Perez and Jose
Valentin each hit two-run homers in the Chicago White Sox's 8-2
victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

Buehrle's teammates have scored 34 runs over his last three
starts.

"Some of the other starters are joking that I'm taking all of
their runs," Buehrle said. "I'll take as many as I can get."

Buehrle (4-1) gave up two runs on seven hits and tied his season
high with eight strikeouts. He improved to 12-4 against the Twins,
the most victories he has against any opponent.

The left-hander had plenty of help from Chicago's lineup, which
had 12 hits despite missing cleanup hitter Frank Thomas because of
an upset stomach. Leadoff hitter Juan Uribe went 3-for-4, and
Chicago's first four hitters combined to go 9-for-19.

The White Sox have won four straight overall and three in a row
against the Twins. The two teams now have identical 24-17 records,
tied for first place in the AL Central.

Carlos Silva (5-2) lost his second consecutive start -- both to
Chicago -- after winning his first five decisions. He gave up six
runs, four earned, and allowed 10 hits in four innings.

In Silva's past two starts, the White Sox have touched him for
12 runs on 18 hits in seven innings.

"I left some pitches up tonight," Silva said. "But I threw
some good pitches, and they still hit them."

The White Sox scored four times in the second inning, taking
advantage of two errors.

With runners on second and third and one out, Sandy Alomar's
grounder skipped off the glove of first baseman Justin Morneau for
an error as both runners scored and made it 2-0.

The White Sox then loaded the bases, but Silva nearly escaped
damage when Magglio Ordonez hit a grounder to short. The Twins got
the force at second, but second baseman Jose Offerman's throw
sailed over Morneau's head and into the White Sox's dugout,
allowing two more runs to score.

"That's part of the game," Silva said of the errors. "You
have to deal with it. If you get a groundball, and they make a
mistake, you just have to try to get another one."

Defense has been one of the Twins' strengths in the past. With
injuries forcing players out of position, the team has an
AL-leading 40 errors so far, including three Friday.

"The first thing we think about around here is catching the
ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "And we haven't been
doing that."

Morneau and Offerman were in the lineup because of injuries to
Twins regulars Doug Mientkiewicz (back) and Luis Rivas (groin).
Both were making their first starts of the season at their
respective positions.

Three other Twins regular position players are on the disabled
list, but after the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said
Mientkiewicz would play Saturday.

"They've got a lot of players on the DL, and you've got to take
advantage," Valentin said. "We play these guys so many times, and
we've got to make sure when they come back, we've separated from
them."

Perez's first homer of the season made it 6-0 in the fourth.

Michael Cuddyer hit a long RBI double in the fourth that made it
6-1, and ended Buehrle's 17-inning scoreless streak.

Valentin's sixth homer came off reliever Joe Roa in the seventh
and gave the White Sox and 8-1 lead.

Cuddyer hit a solo homer in the seventh to cap the scoring.

Game notes
Thomas was scratched about 15 minutes before the game. Ross
Gload took his place as the designated hitter. ... Chicago has
scored 29 runs in its last three games against Minnesota. ...
Jacque Jones was 0-for-23 against Buehrle lifetime before Friday,
but bounced a single up the middle in his first at-bat. Buehrle
then struck him out in his next three at-bats. ... Uribe has
reached base in eight of 10 plate appearances in the series.