CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle wasn't at his best, but he was good
enough to keep alive his hopes for a 20-win season.
Buehrle (19-11) scattered nine hits over six innings Sunday
night, pitching the Chicago White Sox to an 8-2 victory over the
Minnesota Twins for a three-game sweep of the AL Central champions. The left-hander allowed two runs and escaped several jams with
minimal damage. He was backed by Frank Thomas and D'Angelo Jimenez,
who each homered and drove in three runs. Magglio Ordonez added his
36th homer, a solo shot in the eighth. "My sinker wasn't working for me like it has been,'' said
Buehrle, 5-0 this season and 7-1 lifetime against the Twins.
"Luckily, they went out for me and scored a lot of runs. I had to
make pitches with men on base and get out of a couple of innings
without allowing a lot of runs.'' Buehrle will start once more this season -- next weekend at
Minnesota -- in his bid to become Chicago's first 20-game winner
since Jack McDowell in 1993. "I like his chances for 20,'' White Sox manager Jerry Manuel
said. "I felt he really didn't have his best stuff tonight. He
threw about 100 (106) pitches in six innings and wasn't very
Buehrlelike. Hopefully, we'll swing the bats well (next weekend),
give him a little cushion and a chance to win 20.'' Antonio Osuna pitched two scoreless relief innings as the White
Sox (79-77) moved two games over .500 for the first time since May
31. Damaso Marte pitched a scoreless ninth. Chicago roughed up a Twins starter for the third straight game.
Joe Mays (4-8) lasted four innings, allowing seven runs on seven
hits. Rick Reed and Brad Radke were hit hard in blowout losses
Friday and Saturday. "I just wasn't able to make adjustments,'' said Mays, who
started on four days' rest. "I thought I made some good pitches on
guys, but they were able to put it in play and find some holes.'' The White Sox, who outscored the Twins 32-8 in the series, swept
Minnesota in a three-game set for the first time since June 1995. "We weren't there for this series,'' Minnesota manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "We didn't come with the intensity we normally
have. It's expected at the end of a long (10-game) road trip.'' Dustan Mohr had three hits for the Twins. Thomas' 27th homer, a two-run shot to center, put the White Sox
ahead in the first inning. The Twins cut it to 2-1 in the second on
A.J. Pierzynski's bloop RBI single. Chicago increased its lead to 3-1 in the second on Aaron
Rowand's sacrifice fly. In the third, Thomas extended it to 4-1
when he singled in Jose Valentin. Jimenez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the fourth to
give Chicago a 7-1 lead. It was the first AL homer for Jimenez,
acquired from San Diego on July 12. Ordonez homered leading off the eighth inning to make it 8-2.
Torii Hunter, Minnesota's All-Star center fielder, was the
DH. He's nursing a sore lower back. ... Twins OF Jacque Jones, out
with a sprained ankle, is expected to resume practice this week and
return to the lineup by next weekend. ... Thomas has hit 23 of his
27 homers this season at Comiskey Park. ... Jimenez's homer was the
125th at home for the White Sox this season, tying a team record.
... Chicago rookie 3B Joe Crede extended his hitting streak to nine
games. He is 15-for-34 during that span.