CHICAGO (AP) -- In anticipation of home run No. 500, Jim Thome is having a hard time blocking out the extra attention.
Thome hit his 497th and added the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 8-7 on Saturday."When I got to about 10 (away) you get more calls, you get people that call you a little more that mention it and talk about it, your family talks about it, I try to listen to it, but not all that much," said Thome, who hit No. 496 the night before."I try to ignore them a little bit. It is a fun thing. It's something to enjoy, it's something I tried not to get caught up into, but it's getting hard. The excitement is there."A.J. Pierzynski hit a tying, pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh and Paul Konerko also homered for the White Sox, who won for just the seventh time in 26 games.There is a chance that Thome might hit his 500th against the Indians, who come into Chicago for a three-game series starting Monday. Thome played 12 seasons with the Indians and every time he returned as a visitor he was booed.When asked if it would mean anything to hit 500 against ClevelandThome responded: "I think you know the answer."Torii Hunter homered and Jason Tyner drove in three runs as the Twins lost their season-high sixth straight.After blowing a six-run lead in the ninth on Friday night, the Twins couldn't hold on to a two-run lead in the seventh.Juan Uribe doubled off Twins reliever Kevin Slowey, then with two-outs, Pierzynski homered off Carmen Cali (0-1) on the first pitch. After Jerry Owens walked, Scott Podsednik singled and Thome followed with an RBI single to put the White Sox ahead 8-7."If you don't make pitches you don't get people out. That's the bottom line. Cali didn't make any pitches and he didn't get any lefties out and that's his job," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.Mike Myers (4-0) pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the victory and Matt Thornton got four outs for his second save of the season.Brian Buscher also homered for the Twins, who have lost 10 of their last 12.Jason Kubel led off the fifth inning with a double off White Sox starter Jose Contreras and scored on Tyner's bunt single to break a 5-all tie.Hunter chased Contreras in the sixth inning with a leadoff home run to put the Twins up 7-5. It was Hunter's 28th of the season.Contreras pitched five-plus innings and allowed seven runs, but three were unearned. He struck out two and walked one to avoid his 17th loss of the season.Thome went deep off Minnesota starter Matt Garza on a 2-0 pitch for his 25th homer of the season in the first inning. Then on the next pitch, Konerko hit his 28th homer to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. It was the seventh time this season the White Sox have hit back-to-back homers.Pierzynski already knows where he will be when Thome hits 500."I'm going to be the first guy out there to get in the picture," Pierzynski said. "Hopefully I'm in the game. I will be two guys behind him as soon as I see it leave I will be the first one to run and meet him. I'm going to beat Konerko out there."
Garza went four innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on nine hits. ... Thome's home run was measured at 432 feet. ... Twins C Joe Mauer missed the game with a left hamstring injury. He hasn't started since Aug. 25 but will start on Sunday against the White Sox. ... Uribe matched a career-high for the fourth time with four hits. ... Morales had his first major league hit in the second inning and finished 3-for-3 after leaving with a sprained ankle in the fifth inning.