Another tight game goes Twins' way

Strong pitching and a big hit by Josh Willingham gave them their fourth victory in a row.

view larger photos

  

– Twins lefthander Scott Diamond fielded a grounder in the sixth inning Sunday, whirled and threw to first as if the 6-foot-4 inch Justin Morneau was there. He wasn’t. It was the 5-foot-11 Jamey Carroll.

The throw sailed into foul territory. That runner, Alejandro De Aza, went to third and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly.

“I really thought I blew that one,” Diamond said. “I thought it would come down to one play, and I thought that was it in the sixth inning.”

But those mistakes have not been fatal for these Twins. They are getting enough hitting. The bullpen has been exemplary. They haven’t been blown out of games.

Sure enough, Josh Willingham cleared the bases with a double in the next inning, and Twins relievers put their foot on Chicago’s throats for nine outs while locking up a 5-3 victory and a sweep of this rain-shortened two-game series with the White Sox. The Twins come home with a four-game winning streak that has taken them over .500 at 8-7. Diamond, who led the Twins with 13 victories last season, is 1-1.

The Twins were forced to take three days off last week because of two postponed games but returned to action this weekend by taking two games from the White Sox, their once-fierce rival.

Vance Worley gave up one earned run Saturday on seven days’ rest. Sunday, Diamond gave up two runs (one earned) while coming off eight days off.

Aaron Hicks ended a 0-for-23 skid on Sunday with an RBI single and also drew a walk.

The bullpen took a blow when Adam Dunn homered off Josh Roenicke. Still, Twins relievers have a sparking 2.15 ERA. They should get three days off every couple of weeks.

“It’s huge, just knowing you have that back-end bullpen,” Joe Mauer said. “You get a couple runs and give them a lead they can take it from there. It’s a nice thing to have.”

Down 2-1 in the seventh, Trevor Plouffe walked and went to second on a passed ball. Hicks rolled a 3-2 sinker between first and second, scoring Plouffe with the tying run. Hicks stole second. Jamey Carroll reached on an infield single. Lefthander Donnie Veal replaced Matt Lindstrom, but Veal, who has had eight of his last nine pitches called balls, walked Mauer to load the bases. In came former Twins reliever Jesse Crain to face Willingham.

Crain hung a slider, and Willingham doubled over center fielder DeWayne Wise, emptying the bases to make it 5-2. The bullpen gave a run back but still performed, with Glen Perkins getting his fifth save in as many chances.

Embracing early trends is risky, but the Twins are encouraged by being 4-0 in one-run games, with three of those victories coming on the road. And Sunday’s victory was another close game they came through in.

“I said before the game, ‘Let’s win this thing 8-2 and make it a little easier on ourselves,’ ” Justin Morneau said. “Oh well. One of the main reasons Baltimore got in the playoffs last year was that they were good in one-run games. You have a winning record in those, you have a chance to finish the season with a winning record.

“It gives you confidence to get those early and, for a young team, it’s important to get off to a fast start.”

 

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Twins 5, White Sox 3

    Sunday April 21, 2013

  • Twins ready for Redmond's return as Marlins manager

    Monday April 22, 2013

    CHICAGO – Mike Redmond last played for the Twins in 2009, but mentioning his name to former teammates brings smiles...

  • Series preview: Miami at Twins

    Sunday April 21, 2013

    series preview twins vs. miamiTWO-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELDMonday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FMRHP Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.95 ERA) vs...

  • Twins-White Sox game recap

    Monday April 22, 2013

    Impact player: Josh Willingham, TwinsThe left fielder’s three-run double in the seventh inning broke open the game, enabling the Twins...

  • Postgame: Hammer's redemption and more

    Sunday April 21, 2013

    The Twins head home with a four-game winning streak after beating the White Sox twice in a rain-shortened series at US Cellular Field

  • Scott Diamond

  • Alex Rios — wearing 1983-style uniforms, as the White Sox are doing on Sunday home games this year — was tagged out by Trevor Plouffe trying to steal third.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Houston 7:00 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Portland 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
Golden State
San Jose 6:00 PM
Boston
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Toronto 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:30 PM
Montreal
Arizona 7:00 PM
Nashville
Carolina 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Chicago
Vancouver 7:30 PM
Dallas
Florida 8:00 PM
Colorado
Tampa Bay 8:00 PM
Calgary
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close