CHICAGO (AP) -- The middle of the lineup supplied the power. The
bottom part came through with six hits, and the starting pitcher
was effective, too.
Not that this was unusual for the Minnesota Twins.
Brad Radke pitched six solid innings for Minnesota, which pulled
within two games of the second-place White Sox in the AL Central
with its 32nd win in 40 games. Jason Tyner and Jason Bartlett, the
bottom two batters in the Twins' lineup, had three hits apiece.
Tyner also made two nice catches in center field.
He sprinted back, leaped and banged into the wall to rob Joe Crede of an extra-base hit in the second. And he raced to snag Jim Thome's drive to deep right-center with a runner on third to end
Paul Konerko homered in the fourth and Juan Uribe connected in
the fifth to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. But Chicago lost for
the 10th time in 13 games and fell 7½ games behind first-place
Detroit in the AL Central.
"Everybody is catching up and gaining ground on you, but
there's still two full months to go," Konerko said.
Cuddyer and Morneau hit consecutive homers off Javier Vazquez
(9-6) in the sixth to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. Mauer went deep
against Neal Cotts in the seventh -- the first homer of his career
off a left-hander.
Radke (9-7) allowed two runs and seven hits. He is 5-0 in nine
starts since losing to Oakland on June 3.
"It just happens," Radke said. "We just ran into a stretch
where we're playing well. We're playing well at home. It's nice to
get a few wins on the road."
Vazquez took a shutout into the sixth, but things again fell
apart quickly for him.
Nick Punto led off with a single to extend his career-high
hitting streak to 16 games. With one out, Cuddyer hit a two-run
shot for his 13th homer. Morneau put the Twins ahead with his 26th
-- a shot that just cleared the wall in right.
It was the third time the Twins hit back-to-back homers this
season, and Cuddyer's shot was Minnesota's first since Rondell White went deep against Tampa Bay on July 18 -- a span of 202 plate
The sellout crowd booed Vazquez on his way to the dugout and let
him hear it again in the seventh, after Bartlett's double put
runners on second and third with none out.
Cotts relieved and, with one out, Punto sent a grounder to
shortstop. Juan Uribe fired home to cut down Tyner, who protested
the call by yelling and waving his arms. Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire came out of the dugout and argued vehemently with plate
umpire Laz Diaz.
But instead of letting that play slow them down, the Twins
quickly took control.
The next batter, Mauer, padded the lead with his eighth homer.
He added a sacrifice fly in the ninth to make it 7-2.
"I just love arguing," a smiling Gardenhire said. "The big
thing there is it didn't go our way at home plate. I tried to keep
my argument to a minimum, told him, 'I think you missed it,' and
[wanted to] get back in because I thought we had momentum going."
The Twins have had momentum for 40 games, actually. And the
White Sox can't find it.
They beat Texas on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak and
grabbed a 2-0 lead in this one. But the game soon took a turn.
After going 1-for-14 in his previous four games, Konerko drove a
1-1 pitch over the center-field wall for his 25th homer. Uribe led
off the fifth with his 13th homer.
Vazquez kept Minnesota off balance early with his cutter and
changeup before falling apart. It's a perplexing trend.
"What's frustrating is that I feel good, and I feel like I'm
making some good pitches and nothing is happening," he said.
Punto's 16-game hitting streak tied Morneau for the Twins'
season high. ... The White Sox acquired right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal from Kansas City for minor league pitchers Tyler Lumsden
and Daniel Cortes. An All-Star closer in 2003, MacDougal strained
his right shoulder during spring training and was activated from
the disabled list July 13. He is expected to be a setup man for
closer Bobby Jenks. Chicago optioned pitcher Sean Tracey to
Triple-A Charlotte to clear roster room for MacDougal.