Twins belt seven home runs in doubleheader sweep

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 10, 2013 - 12:36 AM

The Twins earned two victories over the White Sox behind six solo homers and a Justin Morneau grand slam.

 

– What an ugly day for the Twins. They struck out 25 times, surrendered four home runs, and went 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Oh, and swept a doubleheader for the first time since last September.

The normally power-challenged Twins launched seven home runs in two games, six of them solo shots and one grand slam by Justin Morneau, and rode the U.S. Cellular Field jet stream to 7-5 and 3-2 comeback victories over the last-place White Sox.

All 10 Twins runs over the two games were driven in by homers, just as five of Chicago’s seven runs were. Morneau bashed two homers, including his first grand slam since 2009, to win the first game, and Oswaldo Arcia cannoned a baseball into the seats in each game, the second one breaking a 2-2 tie in the 10th inning of the nightcap.

“This is a place where you know you don’t have to overswing,” Morneau deadpanned after connecting on the 13th and 14th home runs of his career in the homer-friendly home of the White Sox. “I was lucky enough to come up there with the bases loaded. I hit a two-strike pitch and put the barrel to it. It was a good feeling.”

Those happy feelings pervaded the entire team, even as the Twins were racking up the strikeouts once again, even as they were leaving runners stranded on base. They overcame those worries with heartening, perhaps corner-turning, pitching performances by young starters Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendriks, some amazing range by outfielders Arcia and Clete Thomas, and shutdown contributions from nearly every member of their bullpen.

Brian Duensing was the pitcher of record when the Twins rallied into the lead in both games, striking out the only batter he faced in the first game and pitching a 1-2-3 ninth in the second to become the first pitcher since Luis Vizcaino of the Yankees in 2007 to be credited with two victories in one day.

Duensing’s feat moved him into third place on the Twins in wins this year with six (trailing Sam Deduno and Kevin Correia, who have seven apiece). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time ever that a Twins pitcher recorded two victories in one day. The last pitcher in franchise history to do so was the Big Train himself, Walter Johnson, back on Sept. 17, 1923 with the old Washington Senators.

“That’s just being in the right place in the right time,” said Duensing (6-1). “It was a little crazy out there, with everyone hitting the ball out. I was just trying to execute my pitches. If you think about, ‘Don’t give up homers, don’t make mistakes,’ you’re probably going to.”

Gibson and Hendriks didn’t make many against a White Sox lineup lacking Alex Rios after the outfielder was traded to Texas before the start of Game 1. Gibson gave up three runs, including home runs to Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez, over 5⅔ innings, and he walked three. But he got through the first four innings having given up only one run, the best of his eight starts this year.

“I felt a whole lot better today,” he said. “I worked a lot on trying to stay relaxed. I threw a lot more quality strikes.”

Hendriks knew his start was more emergency than audition, since he was added to the roster as the 26th man, eligible only for a doubleheader. “When I checked into the hotel, they said I was checking out on the 10th,” he said with a smile. “I knew there was a very slim chance I would stay around,” and he was indeed sent back to Class AAA Rochester after the game.

But not until after Hendriks pitched 6⅓ strong innings, including four 1-2-3 innings. Ramirez — who had not homered since April 3, 451 at-bats ago, until connecting twice on Friday — and Blake Tekotte, who hit his first career homer, each victimized Hendriks, but the Aussie righthander mostly breezed through his start.

Part of that was thanks to some track-meet defense by outfielders Arcia and Clete Thomas, each of whom made outstanding running catches. Thomas ran down a Dayan Viciedo fly ball in the deepest part of the park to end the sixth inning, saving two certain Chicago runs.

“Without a doubt, those guys were unreal,” Hendriks said. “It’s a lot of fun watching those guys run, track balls down.”

The Twins, though, were putting baseballs where no outfielder could track them down. In addition to Morneau and Arcia’s two-homer days, they also received solo homers from Chris Colabello, Chris Herrmann and — connecting for the first time since June 2 — Josh Willingham, who was activated Friday morning after missing 33 games due to knee surgery.

“This place has never changed — the ball flies here in the summer, and that’s just the way it is,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’ve seen them do it to us too many times. You never feel like you’re safe here, I don’t care how many runs it is.”

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Twins 7, Chicago 5

    Friday August 9, 2013

    Justin Morneau hit two dingers -- including a clutch grand slam, the seventh of his career and first since...

  • Photo gallery: Twins 3, Chicago 2 (Game 2)

    Friday August 9, 2013

    Three home runs help the Twins take second game from the White Sox.

  • Hendriks gets brief shot for Twins tonight

    Friday August 9, 2013

    Liam Hendriks earned another look from the Twins on Friday with a strong surge.

  • Chart: Elizabethton's rare down season

    Saturday August 10, 2013

    E-TOWN DOWNThe rookie-ball Elizabethton Twins have a losing record in the Appalachian League this year, something they haven’t finished a...

  • Twins minor league report: Elizabethton on pace for rare losing season

    Saturday August 10, 2013

    The Twins’ Appalachian League rookie-ball team last finished with a below-.500 record 25 years ago.

  • Doumit placed on concussion DL

    Saturday August 10, 2013

    Ryan Doumit left Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning after feeling “in a fog” behind the plate. He said he had been hit on the head several times lately.

  • Twins-White Sox doubleheader recap

    Saturday August 10, 2013

    DOUBLEHEADER RECAPGAME 1 IMPACT PLAYERJustin Morneau, TwinsHis last grand slam came in 2009, but after three Chicago walks loaded the...

  • Postgame: "Big Train" Duensing in heady company

    Saturday August 10, 2013

    Two wins in a day ties Brian Duensing with Hall of Famer Walter Johnson; Gibson approaches likely shutdown; Morneau increases trade value.

  • Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau (33) is greeted at home by Clete Thoma...

  • Twins first baseman Justin Morneau watched his second home run Friday, off Ramon Troncoso in Game 1.

  • The high-fives were plentiful in the Twins dugout for Justin Morneau, center, after his go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning of Friday’s first game. The White Sox had walked the bases loaded before Morneau unloaded them with a blast over the right-field fence.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close