Twins bats again create fireworks for Diamond

CHICAGO - The Twins don't try to explain it. They just enjoy it. Especially Scott Diamond.

The Twins pounded an opponent on Diamond's watch once again, as they blistered the White Sox 18-9 at U.S. Cellular Field. Anyone with a bat padded his stats.

"It's good when everybody contributes, and everybody contributed tonight up and down our lineup," Twins outfielder Josh Willingham said. "That's a beautiful thing."

The Twins batted around in an inning twice. They scored seven runs in the second then dropped a 10-spot in the fifth. Justin Morneau hit two singles in the second and walked twice in the fifth. Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe each had two hits in the fifth as the Twins took a 17-4 lead. The inning was punctuated by Chris Parmelee's three-run homer.

The 10-run inning tied for the Twins' biggest inning of the season, and the eight hits in the inning were a season high. White Sox righthander Phillip Humber, who threw a perfect game earlier in the season at Seattle, was on the receiving end of most of the carnage in the fifth. He was charged with eight earned runs in one-third of an inning.

Poor Humber?

"No one feels sorry for anyone," Willingham said. "When he was throwing a perfect game he wasn't feeling sorry for the Mariners."

When Diamond is on the mound, Twins hitters relax -- and rake. The Twins offense entered Tuesday averaging 6.97 runs a game when Diamond is pitching, more than a run more for any other Twins starter.

The output Tuesday was the second highest of the season. Their biggest offensive game was a 19-7 victory over the Orioles on July 16 -- a game also started by Diamond. The Twins also have scored 14 runs once and 11 runs three times for Diamond. That's 84 runs in six of his starts.

"It's hard not to notice when we're putting up eight runs in just one inning," Diamond said. "I can't complain, that's for sure."

Diamond wasn't his sharpest, but he lasted the required five innings to improve to 11-6 on the season, his first victory in five starts.

Doumit's solo blast in the seventh made it 18-4 before Chicago scored four runs in the eighth.

Chicago didn't want to use up any more pitchers -- five had been used in the game -- so outfielder DeWayne Wise pitched a scoreless ninth. He's the first White Sox position player to pitch in a game since Dave Martinez on Aug. 4, 1995.

"Too much to talk about and not enough time to do it in," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Some really big innings out there. One of those nights where we got on a roll, we started swinging and the ball kept finding holes."

Happy in new home

Former Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano likes the view from the top of the AL Central.

He's in a lively clubhouse. He's pitching meaningful games in September. And he facing hitters he's familiar with.

He feels a little more of an adrenaline rush when he takes the mound.

"A lot," he said. "A lot. I go out there and I feel like we're going out there to win. Every time I go out there I just give a hundred percent of what I got, but at the same time, there is more adrenaline, more fun. We all want to win. It's fun."

Liriano is 2-1 with a 4.54 ERA with the White Sox.

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