Hunter homered twice and went 4-for-4 Saturday night as the
Minnesota Twins continued their mastery of Chicago, beating the
White Sox 4-1.
Hunter's first homer was the 100th of his career.
"I didn't really think about it until somebody told me in the
dugout and I was like, 'That's right," Hunter said. "It was a
shock for me for a second."
With a big assist from Hunter, Greisinger (1-2) earned his first
win since he beat Texas while with Detroit on May 19, 2002.
The right-hander missed the 2000 and 2001 seasons after elbow
ligament replacement surgery, had shoulder problems in 2002 and
spent last year in the minors. He allowed four hits in a
season-best seven-inning outing, including Frank Thomas' seventh
"It's been a battle, but it's been fun, though," Greisinger
said. "I had that injury to my shoulder after I came from my elbow
and that was a setback. It's been a long time between wins, but
hopefully it won't be long between the next one."
Minnesota sent Esteban Loaiza (4-3) to his third straight loss.
Loaiza, a 21-game winner a year ago, gave up six hits and three
runs in eight innings, yielding Hunter's first homer.
"Our starters and relievers are doing the best job possible to
win games. The hitters got to turn it around and try to get that
extra base hit and get on early and late," Loaiza said.
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen criticized his team's approach
after the game and promised changes if the White Sox don't start
picking it up on offense. He said he was fed up with a series of
bad at-bats that have been going on for nearly two weeks.
The White Sox have scored nine runs in their last four games and
have lost six of their last eight.
"If I see you trying to get a good at-bat and you don't get a
hit, that's part of the game. Besides that, it's pathetic,"
And as for the Twins' recent domination of the White Sox --
Minnesota is 37-22 against Chicago since 2001 -- it's time for the
mind-set to change, Guillen said.
"Obviously they are a pretty good team. But you go man-by-man
and we should be embarrassed," Guillen said. "I think man-by-man
we have better talent. But talent doesn't win games. Performance
Trailing 1-0 the Twins took the lead in the fifth when Hunter
doubled past third and scored on Michael Cuddyer's RBI single. Luis
Rivas and Lew Ford then had two-out, opposite-field singles to give
the Twins a 2-1 lead.
Hunter hit his first homer in the sixth. Needing a triple for
the cycle, Hunter homered off Cliff Politte in the ninth.
"I tried to hit the ball hard and get a triple. It didn't work
out," Hunter said. "I'll take that home run."
The victory increased the Twins' AL Central lead over the White
Sox to three games. Minnesota has now beaten Chicago seven straight
times, dating back to last season.
Hunter was just 2-for-16 over his previous five games. He
now has hit two homers in a game four times. He also made a nice
running catch of Carlos Lee's long drive to center right after
Thomas' homer in the fourth. ... Loaiza has yielded nine homers
this season after giving up just 17 all of last year. ... Even
though his team has had trouble scoring recently, Ozzie Guillen
didn't start Chicago's leading hitter, Juan Uribe, for a second
straight game. Uribe struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
... The Twins are 14-6 against the Central Division this season.
... LF Shannon Stewart did not start Saturday night because of a
heel bruise. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire kept Stewart out for
precautionary reasons and because it was an unseasonably cold night
(gametime temperature of 53). ... Chicago 1B Paul Konerko went
0-for-3 and is 4-for-41 (.098) in May. Nathan has not allowed a run
in 15 straight appearances and 18 of 19 this season.