White Sox ride six-run sixth to sweep of Twins

White Sox ride six-run sixth to sweep of Twins

White Sox ride six-run sixth to sweep of Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- Life was good for the White Sox in Minneapolis this weekend.

Chicago wrapped up three well-played games against the Twins with its best of the bunch on Sunday. The White Sox used a six-run sixth inning to bury Minnesota, backing up a strong showing from Jake Peavy for a 9-2 win in front of 31,722 at Target Field.

The victory -- Chicago's 13th in its last 16 games at Target Field -- clinched the White Sox ninth sweep of the season and their second against Minnesota. The White Sox extended their American League Central lead to two games over the Tigers, who lost, 7-6, to the Indians on Sunday.

After dropping two of three to Detroit last week, Chicago responded by holding Minnesota to five runs on 12 hits while scoring 20 runs on 24 hits during the series.

"The boys played well," Peavy said. "After a tough series and after getting rained out, we came here knowing we had to play well. We did. Minnesota is not having their best year. But they're still a scrappy ballclub, as you saw last night -- they're fighting all the way until the end.

"... Good team win today."

The White Sox held only a 3-2 lead when they entered what proved to be an explosive sixth. Twins starter Scott Diamond held Chicago to three runs on four hits in the first five innings until allowing Adam Dunn's 39th home run to lead off the sixth. Paul Konerko was retired via flyout in the next at-bat, but Alex Rios ripped his eighth triple of the season, tying a career high he set in 2008 with the Blue Jays. Rios hit .418 (28-for-67) in 18 games against the Twins this year.

Dayan Viciedo followed with his 21st home run to collect his second and third RBIs of the game and end Diamond's day. Alexei Ramirez then reached on an error and scored on Dewayne Wise's sacrifice fly, and Kevin Youkilis drove in a run with an RBI single. Dunn tagged an RBI single as he batted for the second time in the inning to complete the scoring in the frame.

The big advantage made manager Robin Ventura's decision to end Peavy's day after six innings a much easier one, especially since Peavy needed to escape a jam in the fifth.

"You started looking at innings and how hard guys have to work -- that [fifth against Peavy] was one of those innings. It wasn't easy," Ventura said. " ... That next inning was looking like -- you get [Joe] Mauer leading off -- so it was big. It was big to get some runs. Home runs are good, but I like the ones where we just push a couple across here and there."

Dunn went 4-for-7 in two games against Minnesota after missing the White Sox previous seven games due to a strained oblique. The first baseman said the injury isn't an issue, and he expects to play on Monday against Detroit.

His 39 home runs are his most since 2008, when he totaled 40 with Cincinnati and Arizona.

"Obviously when you feel like you can contribute, I would much rather be out there playing than sitting there with [head athletic trainer Herman Schneider] in the training room all game," Dunn said. "[I'm] playing good so far. Hopefully I can keep it up and get rocking."

Peavy limited the Twins to two runs on four hits over six innings while striking out six to earn his 11th win of the season, his most since he won a career-high 19 for the Padres in 2007. It was also Peavy's first road win since Aug. 1, which also came in Minneapolis.

He went 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts against Minnesota this year.

"Peavy was good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He used all of his pitches to keep us off-balance. His changeup, curveball and fastballs inside. He did what he had to do."

Mauer tagged him for a solo home run in the first inning, and Alexi Casilla hit the second of consecutive doubles to drive in another run in the fifth.

Sox starting pitchers own a 2.29 ERA over the last eight games (12 earned runs in 47 innings), with 57 strikeouts.

Chicago tied the game at 1 in the third on Wise's first sacrifice fly, then took the lead on Youkilis' RBI double that was nearly a home run over the center-field wall. Viciedo's double in the fourth scored Rios and gave the White Sox a 3-1 lead.

Casilla's double trimmed the lead to one run until Dunn's bomb began Chicago's offensive onslaught.

"He crushed that one," Gardenhire said. "It kind of got ugly after that."

Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.