MINNEAPOLIS -- For the second straight season, the Twins swept a four-game series from the White Sox at Target Field by virtue of Sunday's 13-3 rout of the South Siders. Only six of Minnesota's runs were earned, with Chicago committing four errors during one of its roughest performances in an underachieving 2015 season. The Twins outscored the White Sox, 31-8, and during Chicago's five-game losing streak, it has been outscored, 39-10.
"Today, hats off to their club. They came out swinging and beat us," White Sox catcher Geovany Soto said. "When we go out there, it's, 'Today is the day it's going to change. Today is the day we're going to come out here and beat somebody and get the ball rolling.'"
John Danks lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on eight hits, striking out three and throwing just 68 pitches. Five relievers followed Danks to the mound.
"It was a nice outburst," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We had 19 hits, and having double figures in runs is always a good thing. It was one of those games where we hit a lot of baseballs really well. We had the big inning early on."
Mike Pelfrey got the start for Minnesota, but he lasted only 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs in the third when he walked the leadoff man and hit three batters. But that abbreviated rally was as close as it would get for the White Sox, who lost for the fifth straight time and fell to 2-11 on the road, while the Twins moved above .500 for the first time this season at 13-12. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Twins put up 7-spot: After being held scoreless by Danks through the first two innings, the Twins broke out in a big way in the third. Trevor Plouffe did most of the damage with his first career grand slam with nobody out. The White Sox also made two errors in the inning, opening the door for Danny Santana to come through with a two-run single and Brian Dozier to get an RBI single in his second at-bat of the inning.
"I think it's just contagious hitting," said Plouffe, who went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. "When we get guys on base, it just puts pressure on the pitcher."
Fundamentally unsound: Danks dropped a throw from first baseman Adam LaRoche that would have nailed Joe Mauer at first in the third. He then threw to second on Chris Hermann's grounder to the mound with runners on first and second, although he had a play at second, and the errant throw left the bases loaded. Micah Johnson threw away Kennys Vargas' grounder in the fourth after making a nice play to get to the ball, and Geovany Soto's wild flip after a Dan Jennings pitch got away produced yet another run. There were also two wild pitches for good measure. More >
Despite big lead, Pelfrey struggles: After the big third, Pelfrey had trouble with his control in the fourth and couldn't make it out of the inning. He loaded the bases with nobody out and allowed two runs to score on back-to-back hit-by-pitches. Pelfrey was bailed out by Ryan Pressly, who tossed 2 2/3 perfect innings in relief with three strikeouts. More >
"Realistically, I'm mad I had to come out of the game with a seven-run lead," Pelfrey said. "I didn't give them a choice. I walked a guy, hit three guys."
A shining light:Avisail Garcia knocked out three singles in Sunday's setback, raising his average to .342. While the offense continues to struggle as a whole, Garcia has now hit safely in nine straight games.
"There's a lot of season left, but definitely don't want to dig ourselves too deep of a hole. We've got to pick it up." -- Danks, on the White Sox poor start
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When Pelfrey plunked three batters in the fourth, he became just the second pitcher in Twins history to hit three batters in one inning. Bert Blyleven also did it on Sept. 28, 1988, against the A's.
The White Sox have not homered since April 22 against the Indians, when Jose Abreu went deep against Corey Kluber in the first inning.
With the Twins up, 12-2, in the sixth, Jordan Schafer hit a sinking liner to center field that was ruled a diving catch by J.B. Shuck. But Molitor challenged the play and the call was overturned, giving Schafer a single.
Twins left fielder Oswaldo Arcia left the game with right hip irritation after singling in the fourth inning, and he is day to day. He was replaced by Schafer.
"It's kind of a day to day thing for now," Molitor said. "He felt it early in the game, but he said he was fine. But that last hit he had, he was laboring to first base pretty significantly. But he says he's going to be fine."
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: With his five-game suspension still under appeal, Jeff Samardzija takes the mound against Detroit on Tuesday night to open a six-game homestand. Samardzija gave up six runs in the first inning of his start against Baltimore on Wednesday, but he held Detroit to one run in eight innings on April 17.
Twins: The Twins open a four-game series against the A's on Monday in a 7:10 p.m. CT start. Right-hander Phil Hughes is set to take the mound for Minnesota. He left his last start after just five innings on Monday because of a mild left hip flexor strain, but he threw his bullpen session without any issues on Friday and was cleared to start.