The season series between the White Sox and Twins is over, a series that Chicago dominated.
The White Sox shrugged off a first-inning home run by Joe Mauer on Sunday to blow by the Twins 9-2 and win 14 of the 18 games between the teams this season. Chicago outscored the Twins 113-77 in the process.
As some regulars missed time over the weekend because of injuries, the Twins mustered just five runs on 12 hits in this series.
Mauer (back spasms) and Ryan Doumit (oblique) returned to the lineup Sunday, and Mauer homered and doubled in his first two at-bats. It's the third time in Mauer's career that he's reached double digits in homers.
The Twins led 1-0, but the White Sox got a sacrifice fly by Dewayne Wise and an RBI double from Kevin Youkilis in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Dayan Viciedo's RBI double in the fourth made it 3-1.
The Twins closed to 3-2 on an RBI double by Alexi Casilla in the fifth.
Twins lefthander Scott Diamond had better stuff than in recent starts but made some mistakes. Chicago knocked Diamond out of the game with three big blows in the sixth, a homer by Adam Dunn, triple by Alex Rios and two-run homer by Viciedo. Anthony Swarzak entered, but Pedro Florimon mishandled Alexei Ramirez's grounder, and Chicago eventually scored three unearned runs.
Coupled with Detroit blowing a lead and losing to Cleveland, the White Sox lead the AL Central by two games.
"They're going to be right there, as they are right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They have a good baseball team, built with a lot of good pitching. They have a lot of good arms that can come out of that bullpen throwing really hard, and they have some starters that have been there and done it. [Jake] Peavy's one of them."
Peavy went six innings to improve to 11-11. It was his first victory on the road since Aug. 1 at Target Field.Diamond is rough
Since that Aug. 23 game at Texas in which he threw behind Rangers star Josh Hamilton and got suspended, Diamond has posted a 7.33 ERA.
But Gardenhire said he thinks Diamond had better stuff Sunday than in other recent outings.
"I was worried that he was getting into that dead arm stage," Gardenhire said, "but he said he felt better and felt good, and that he felt like he made some strides."
Diamond has thrown 1881/3 innings, his most ever. So the Twins have been watching for signs of him hitting the wall. On Sunday, those signs could have been the sounds of 400-foot homers by Dunn and Viciedo
"Physically fine. I still feel like the ball's coming out well," Diamond said. "I was able to work down pretty well today, even though I gave up a lot of fly balls. I'm still trying to go as deep into games as I can, and as of right now I really haven't been able to get to that seven-inning mark, which is usually my goal."Etc.
• Catcher Chris Herrmann made his major league debut when he entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth and grounded out to second later in the inning during his first major league at-bat.
• The Twins got a bad break in the fourth when Diamond had Rios picked off first. Diamond threw to first as Rios broke for second. Mauer threw to Florimon, who was covering second, and replays showed he tagged Rios before he hit the bag. But Rios was called safe and then scored on Viciedo's double.
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