Series: Game 3 of 3

Chi White Sox won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 20
Chi White Sox2
Game 2: Tuesday, September 21
Chi White Sox8
Game 3: Wednesday, September 22
Chi White Sox7

Twins 6

(88-64, 41-33 away)

White Sox 7

(76-75, 43-34 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 22, 2004

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    MIN 200022000 6 9 1
    CWS 003003001 7 12 0

    W: N. Cotts (4-3)

    L: J. Roa (2-3)

    Bullpen gives Sox a chance

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Paul Konerko is proud of his big season at the plate. He just wishes the Chicago White Sox were also fighting for the division title.

    Konerko hit a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning to lead the White Sox to a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night. Two days after Minnesota clinched the AL Central and eliminated the White Sox, Chicago won the next two games.

    "Only eight teams are going to get in, but when it doesn't go your way everybody is fighting for their own story," said Konerko, who has hit a career-high 40 homers and driven in a career-high 111 runs.

    Wilson Valdez led off with a single off Joe Roa (2-3) and moved to second on Aaron Rowand's sacrifice. Roa then walked Willie Harris and Konerko followed with a single to left, giving the White Sox the win.

    "Even though we clinched our division, we still have to take pride in what we do," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They're trying. It's not like they're not trying, but I am sure you lose a little bit of an edge a little bit. Hopefully we can get that edge back."

    Neal Cotts (4-3) got one out in the ninth to earn the victory for Chicago, which got 3 2/3 scoreless innings from its bullpen.

    "The bullpen kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win the game late," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

    Trailing 6-3, the White Sox came back to tie it in the sixth. Konerko singled off Twins starter Terry Mulholland, Carl Everett was hit by a pitch and Jamie Burke followed with an infield single to load the bases. Ross Gload drove in Konerko on a single, chasing Mullholland.

    The White Sox tied it when first baseman Matthew LeCroy made a throwing error while fielding Joe Borchard's fielder's choice grounder to first. LeCroy threw it past shortstop Cristian Guzman trying to get the force out at second, and Everett and Burke scored. Gload tried to score from second on Joe Crede's single to center, but Torii Hunter easily threw him out at the plate.

    Luis Rivas started the fifth inning with a single and two outs later, Jones put the Twins ahead with a two-run homer to left-center that gave the Twins a 4-3 lead.

    LeCroy doubled in the sixth off White Sox starter Jason Grilli. Kubel hit a two-run homer, chasing Grilli and extending the Twins lead to 6-3.

    Kubel, who hit his second homer in two nights, has earned himself a spot on the Twins' playoff roster. He's 9-for-22 in his last nine games.

    "I was happy to be considered. Going is a real honor for me to be part of this," Kubel said. "Hopefully I can help out in the postseason. I'd say for me it will most likely be a learning experience for the future."

    Mulholland gave up a leadoff single to Borchard in the third, and one out later, Valdez hit a run-scoring double. Rowand followed with an RBI double and Harris hit an RBI single to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead.

    In the first inning, Koskie hit an RBI ground-rule double and LeCroy had a run-scoring ground out.

    Mulholland allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. Grilli went 5 1-3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.

    Game notes

    INF Juan Uribe and Carlos Lee were late scratches from the White Sox's lineup. Uribe was out with a sore lower back and Lee was out for personal reasons. ... Gardenhire gave 1B Justin Morneau another day off. Morneau has missed four games after having a cortisone shot in his left hand Sunday. He's day-to-day. ... Everett was back in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 8. ... Jones' two-run homer was his first since Aug. 28 at Anaheim.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press