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Hernandez holds fort until Konerko's heroics

CHICAGO (AP) -- Orlando Hernandez got big outs when he needed
them.

Hernandez scattered 10 hits over six shutout innings and Paul
Konerko hit his major league-leading seventh home run, sending the
Chicago White Sox to a 3-1 win Tuesday night over the Minnesota
Twins.

Hernandez (2-1) allowed at least one hit in every inning, walked
one and hit a batter with a pitch. Aided by two of Chicago's three
double plays, he squirmed out of several jams, including two with
the bases loaded and one out.

"El Duque has his own way," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen
said. "As long as this kid is healthy, he knows how to pitch, he's
going to compete and he's going to get guys out. He's going to do
everything in his power to keep his team in the game."

Hernandez faced 28 hitters, 12 of which reached base. But he got
tough when he had to and became the first pitcher in nearly 22
years to allow 10 or more hits in six or fewer innings and still
not permit a run. Chuck Rainey of the Chicago Cubs last did it on
Aug. 3, 1983, at St. Louis.

"My team played good defense tonight," Hernandez said.

Konerko hit a solo shot to center off starter Brad Radke (1-3)
in the sixth. Joe Crede and Scott Podsednik each drove in a run in
the fifth for the White Sox (10-4), who swept the two-game series
against their AL Central rivals and are off to their best start
since 1981.

Konerko, who has three homers in the last four games, was
impressed with Hernandez's ability to get critical outs.

"He's pitched in World Series games and he's poised out
there," Konerko said. "He showed he gets tougher with guys in
scoring position, not timid."

Luis Vizcaino and Dustin Hermanson each pitched a scoreless
inning for Chicago before Shingo Takatsu gave up an RBI single to
pinch-hitter Matthew LeCroy in the ninth. Damaso Marte got two outs
for his first save.

Takatsu, who had 19 saves last year, has been shaky as a closer
so far.

"With Shingo, we're going to go by situation now," Guillen
said. "This kid is in trouble and I want to get his confidence
back."

Radke pitched eight innings, allowing three runs and 11 hits. He
struck out five and walked none. The right-hander hasn't issued a
walk to a White Sox batter in 11 outings, spanning 77 1-3 innings
since Aug. 19, 2002.

"Radke pitched very well for us," Minnesota manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "He gave us a chance to win. He always does."

Jacque Jones and Shannon Stewart each had three of Minnesota's
14 hits -- 12 were singles. But the Twins grounded into three double
plays for the second consecutive game.

"We just couldn't come up with another big hit, just like last
night," Gardenhire said. "We seem to be getting plenty of
baserunners and getting ourselves in good position. We hit some
balls right on the button, but right at people and they turned some
double plays."

The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the second, but
didn't score. Hernandez struck out Michael Cuddyer, then got Nick
Punto to pop out to end the threat.

Jones and Lew Ford singled with one out in the fourth, but
Cuddyer grounded into a double play.

The White Sox broke through for two runs in the fifth.

After A.J. Pierzynski led off with a single, he scored on
Crede's double over Torii Hunter's head in center field. Tadahito
Iguchi's sacrifice bunt moved Crede to third, and he scored on
Podsednik's sacrifice fly.

Hunter, a Gold Glove center fielder, said he misjudged Crede's
drive.

"I made a bad play and that cost us the game, cost us a couple
of runs," he said. "You can't make those mistakes out there. I
pride myself on defense, but I lost the game with a bonehead
play."

With one out in the sixth, Jones, Ford and Cuddyer singled off
Hernandez to load the bases. Hernandez escaped again when Punto
popped out and Stewart flied to right.

"They got away with one, like last night," Gardenhire said.
"We had way too many chances not to come home with one or two
wins."

With a runner on and two outs in the sixth, Pierzynski drove a
pitch to deep center, but Hunter reached to the top of the fence
and caught it.

Game notes
Crede extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ...
Pierzynski, a former Twin, started both games in the series. The
Twins stole four bases in five attempts against him. ... The Twins
and White Sox don't meet again until Aug. 15 in Chicago. ...
Left-handed hitter Timo Perez started in RF instead of right-handed
hitting Jermaine Dye against Radke. Dye is hitting only .178.