Twins newcomers pay price for success

Manager Ron Gardenhire greeted Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee in the clubhouse with $100 fines.

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What a way for Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee to break into the majors -- by having manager Ron Gardenhire take money from them.

Benson, thinking one can never be overdressed, wore a suit to Target Field for his big league debut. Paramelee, after calling Benson to see what he was wearing, went out and bought a suit.

It led to a mess-with-the-new-guys moment before Tuesday's game, as Benson and Parmelee were fined by Gardenhire before the Twins lost 3-0 to the White Sox.

"They came in lookin' all nice, coming to the big leagues,'' Gardenhire said. "I said. 'That's 100 bucks apiece because you just made me look bad in my blue jeans.' That was their first welcome to the big leagues.''

Many things have happened to Benson and Parmelee at the same time. They were drafted in 2006, with Parmelee taken with the 20th overall pick and Benson selected in the second round. They've moved up -- and down -- the system together.

And now they were promoted from Class AA New Britain to the majors on the same day. And fined.

On Tuesday, the Twins prospects both reached base in their first career appearances, with Benson drawing a walk in the first inning and Parmelee lacing a single to center in the second.

"It seems like everywhere he goes I go, and vice versa,'' Parmelee said. "We got called up to Beloit in 2006 together. We got sent down to [Class A] Fort Myers together and came back up [a few] days apart.

''Everything we have ever done I have been right there with him. He's been like a brother through the whole system.''

Both ended up being a part of a night in which a victory by the Detroit Tigers officially eliminated the Twins from the playoff race, although any real chance of a late-season comeback ended weeks ago.

Benson, one of the fastest players in the organization, got high-fives in the dugout after he followed his walk with an aggressive take-out slide on a grounder, clipping the right foot of White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

"That's playing the game,'' Gardenhire said.

Benson, however, was responsible for the third Chicago run as he dived and missed a ball hit by Alejandro De Aza in the fifth that became a triple. De Aza then scored on Morel's single through a drawn-in infield.

It was a tough play for Benson, who grew up in Chicago and rooted for the Cubs as a kid. Friends and family drove in from Chicago on Tuesday to watch his debut.

"As soon as I [dived], I saw it was getting past me,'' Benson said of the play.

Benson felt like the game was moving a million miles per hour on Tuesday. Parmelee said he was nervous until he stepped into the batter's box for the first time.

Parmelee, born in Long Beach, Calif., had his wife, Amanda, her parents and some family members at the game.

"When I stepped in the box and looked at the first pitch, everything went away,'' Parmelee said.

September is a opportunity for both Benson and Parmelee to impress the Twins and prove they can contribute next season. They made a good first impression on the manager.

"I don't think they were overwhelmed,'' Gardenhire said. "It was their first game, and we'll go from there.''

  • CHICAGO WHITE SOX 3, TWINS 0

    Up next: 7:10 p.m. Wednesday • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500ESPN)

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Minnesota 3
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San Francisco 10 Top 8th Inning
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