Series: Game 2 of 3

Chi White Sox leads 2-0 (as of 4/22)

Game 1: Friday, April 21
Chi White Sox7
Game 2: Saturday, April 22
Chi White Sox9
Game 3: Sunday, April 23
Chi White Sox7

Twins 2

(7-10, 1-7 away)

White Sox 9

(12-5, 8-3 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 22, 2006

    U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois 

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    MIN 000011000 2 11 0
    CWS 31002012 - 9 16 0

    W: F. Garcia (3-1)

    L: B. Radke (2-2)

    White Sox hitting stride, win seventh straight

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Jermaine Dye showed in October he can deliver in the final month of the season. Now he's doing it again for the Chicago White Sox in the opening weeks of a new year.

    Dye, the World Series MVP, homered, drove in four runs and had three hits Saturday night as the White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 9-2 for their seventh straight victory and 11th in 12 games.

    "I'm usually a slow starter anyway. I'm just trying to do what I can. I don't know what it is," said Dye, who batted .175 in the opening month of 2005 but is now hitting .340.

    "I haven't changed anything. I'm just coming up with big hits in situations. Maybe I'm just feeding off other players."

    One of those would be Jim Thome. Dye had a three-run homer to get the White Sox started in the first and Thome wrapped it up with a two-run shot in the eighth.

    Thome's homer off Jesse Crain made it 9-2. It was his ninth homer in April, tying the White Sox's franchise record for the month, set by Frank Thomas in 1996.

    "Jermaine is a very professional hitter and he has very good at-bats," Thome said. "He kinda kick started it and helped us against (Brad) Radke. It's like, `Who is going to do it today?' I think we are rocking and rolling here."

    Chicago starter Freddy Garcia (3-1) pitched 6 2-3 innings, giving up two runs and seven hits, including Torii Hunter's fifth homer in the sixth.

    Trailing 6-2, the Twins loaded the bases in the seventh against Chicago relievers Boone Logan and Brandon McCarthy with two walks and an infield single before Dye went to the fence in right to haul in Hunter's long drive and end the threat.

    "When he first hit it, I thought it was probably gone. It had just gotten cold. Maybe earlier when it was warm it would have gone out," Dye said.

    Dye's third homer was a two-out shot that followed singles by Tadahito Iguchi and Paul Konerko. Dye is batting .563 with runners in scoring position.

    And his early homer continued a disturbing trend for Twins right-hander Brad Radke.

    Radke (2-2) has given up eight homers this season, including three in the first. In his career, he's surrendered 73 homers in the opening inning.

    Radke lasted five innings, giving up 10 hits and six runs.

    "It's not happening, it's just not happening," Radke said. "It seems like every time I make a mistake over the plate, it gets hit pretty hard. I just need to do a little better job of locating the ball. That's all."

    Dye entered the game batting just .148 against Radke in his career, but you would have not known it based on his latest performance.

    "It's a new year and he caught me when I was swinging good," Dye said.

    Chicago added another run in the second on a leadoff double by Rob Mackowiak, breaking an 0-for-15 slump, and a two-out, run-scoring double from Iguchi.

    In the fifth, Thome walked, Konerko singled and Dye hit an RBI double inside the third-base line. After A.J. Pierzynski was walked intentionally to load the bases, Joe Crede made it 6-1 with an RBI groundout.

    Crede added a run-scoring single in the seventh. Dye nearly had his fourth hit in the eighth but Rondell White made a great catch of his drive to left.

    Garcia, who lost a one-hitter against the Twins last year, gave up a run in the fifth when Lew Ford singled, stole second and third and scored on Luis Rodriguez's RBI grounder.

    Garcia walked one and struck out three, throwing 113 pitches.

    Game notes

    Garcia got the 102nd win of his career, tying him with former White Sox lefty Wilson Alvarez for the most by a Venezuelan pitcher. His previous win came against Toronto last Sunday in a rain-shortened game. ... The crowd of 38,955 was the White Sox's third sellout of the season. ... Twins 2B Luis Castillo missed his second straight game with a sore right knee but could play Sunday. OF Shannon Stewart missed his third game in a row to be with his wife after the birth of their daughter Thursday. He is expected to rejoin the club on Monday in Kansas City. ... Thome has scored in all 17 games, a major league record to start a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Radke is now 14-14 lifetime against the White Sox. In his previous start against the Yankees, he also gave up 10 hits and six runs, but lasted six innings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press