Plenty of credit in Twins' wild 10-9 victory over White Sox

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 4, 2014 - 3:45 AM

The Twins, down to their last out, rallied for victory No. 1.

– Motivation comes in all varieties. Glen Perkins wanted to break his bad-luck streak and earn the save that eluded him a day earlier. Trevor Plouffe wanted to put a bad throw behind him and keep his hot start going. Ron Gardenhire wanted to avoid a sweep and establish a winning atmosphere. And Oswaldo Arcia?

“With the cold out there, he just wanted to get us the lead,” said Chris Colabello, acting as Arcia’s interpreter. “That way we could try to avoid extra innings.”

Whatever their incentive, the Twins rallied from behind three times on Thursday, the last coming when they were down to their final strike. But Plouffe delivered a clutch single, Arcia bashed a go-ahead triple, and Perkins protected the Twins’ first victory of the year, and the 999th of Gardenhire’s career, a crazy 10-9 win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

“That was a character win,” Colabello said after driving in a career-high six runs on a pair of doubles and a groundout.

“We needed that one,” Plouffe agreed after twice driving in two-out, two-strike runs. “Yesterday was a heartbreaker for us. ... To come back today and respond, that’s a good sign.”

There were plenty of signs, good, bad and so-so, on a wet and windy day in which the temperature never rose above 37 degrees. Phil Hughes mowed through the White Sox lineup twice with only a couple of hiccups in his Minnesota debut, then gave up three extra-base hits in the space of four batters to squander his big lead. Anthony Swarzak gave away the first lead he was trusted with since last Aug. 10, but Brian Duensing was sharp in his return from paternity leave. Josmil Pinto tied the score with the Twins’ first home run of the season, but Caleb Thielbar immediately surrendered a tiebreaking blast to Marcus Semien, who had been 0-for-13 in the series.

And all that back-and-forth was building up to a dramatic ninth inning, when both teams’ fortunes swung wildly on pitch after pitch. “It didn’t really seem like anyone wanted to win the game,” Perkins said.

Or maybe both wanted to win badly. With Semien’s homer providing newly appointed White Sox closer Matt Lindstrom a 9-8 lead, the Twins appeared doomed to a season-opening sweep, something Gardenhire dreaded. “You lose your first two — I mean, just start winning,” the longtime manager said after drawing one victory away from becoming the 60th to win 1,000 games. “I want this atmosphere to be a winning atmosphere. ... And our guys fought hard.”

With one out, Josh Willingham took a 3-2 slider for ball four, and the Twins had life. Colabello grounded out, moving pinch runner Jason Bartlett to second base. And with the few dozen fans who braved the cold standing and cheering, Plouffe, whose off-line throw to the plate in a critical situation helped cost the Twins Wednesday’s game, reached out for a high fastball and drilled it to right, driving Bartlett home with the tying run.

“I knew that I would have to fight that slider off, and if he threw the fastball, I could get to it,” Plouffe said after raising his batting average to .462. “And that’s what ended up happening.”

It also brought to the plate Arcia, whose 0-for-13 start to the season included a warning track fly ball that Chicago center fielder Adam Eaton crashed into the wall to catch. His head covered in a burglar’s facemask for warmth, Arcia jumped on Lindstrom’s 3-1 pitch and hit a nearly identical shot to straightaway center that Eaton raced after. This time, he couldn’t reach it, and when it bounced off the wall, he had a triple — and a game-winning RBI.

“That’s a good sign. He actually stayed on the ball,” Gardenhire said. “We’re more impressed that he drove two balls to center field, because he’s really been trying to jerk everything.”

Handed a lead for the second straight day, Perkins was nearly done in by some bad luck again, this time in the form of a popup that fell 1 foot inside the foul line. But with the tying run on third, Perkins retired Alexei Ramirez on a line drive and Paul Konerko on a grounder to, yep, Plouffe, who threw him out to end the game.

“You have to make those plays. I wasn’t concerned with yesterday,” he said. “I’m just glad we got the victory.”

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Twins 10, White Sox 9

    Thursday April 3, 2014

  • Video: Hughes: We battled so well

    Thursday April 3, 2014

    Twins starter Phil Hughes says watching his teammates rally three times to pull out a victory was a thrilling...

  • Video: Colabello: 2-strike doubles and six RBI

    Friday April 4, 2014

    Twins first baseman Chris Colabello says cutting down his swing with two strikes, a point of emphasis lately, led...

  • Twins notes: Perkins gets out of trouble in ninth

    Friday April 4, 2014

    "There’s luck involved, " Twins closer Glen Perkins said after picking up a save a day after blowing one. "Good and bad."

  • Twins-White Sox game recap

    Thursday April 3, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerTrevor Plouffe, TwinsTwice in the final three innings, the third baseman delivered two-out, two-strike singles to drive in...

  • Series preview: Twins at Cleveland

    Thursday April 3, 2014

    twins at clevelandseries previewTHREE-GAME SERIES AT progressive FIELD2 p.m. Friday • FSN, 96.3-FMRHP Mike Pelfrey (13-11, 3.70 in 2013) vs....

  • Minnesota Twins' Oswaldo Arcia (31), follows through on an RBI triple during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Minnesota won 10-9. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Minnesota Twins' Josh Willingham (16), and Brian Dozier (2), celebrate at home plate after both scoring on a 3-RBI double hit by Chris Colabello during the third inning of an baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Thursday, April 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

  • Trevor Plouffe drove in the tying run in the ninth inning, then scored the game-winner on Oswaldo Arcia’s triple.

  • twins 10, chicago 9

    Up next: 2:05 p.m. today at Cleveland • TV: FSN (96.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Arizona 2
Boston 16 2nd Qtr
Cleveland 29
LA Lakers 30 2nd Qtr
Charlotte 27
Sacramento 22 1st Qtr 2:58
New York 15
Houston 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 0 1st Prd 3:48
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 1st Prd 5:30
Philadelphia 0
Washington 1 1st Prd 4:25
Columbus 0
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Florida
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 22 1st Half 4:03
Alabama 27
Eastern Mich 24 1st Half 6:48
Ball State 15
Kent State 21 1st Half 6:50
Bowling Green 23
Ohio 25 1st Half 4:05
Buffalo 33
Georgetown 20 1st Half 6:09
Butler 20
Toledo 24 1st Half 5:06
Central Mich 22
Rhode Island 20 1st Half 7:46
Dayton 20
Youngstown St 22 1st Half 7:35
Detroit 21
North Carolina 34 1st Half 4:40
Georgia Tech 15
Loyola-Maryland 4 1st Half 16:42
Holy Cross 9
Iowa 19 1st Half 8:56
Indiana 20
Akron 13 1st Half 6:59
Miami-Ohio 15
Army 17 1st Half 7:57
Navy 18
Maryland 21 1st Half 5:58
Rutgers 20
Kennesaw St 10 1st Half 8:28
USC Upstate 23
Jacksonville 19 1st Half 10:00
Fla Gulf Coast 21
Lipscomb 16 1st Half 7:48
Northern Ky 16
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 44 2nd Half 6:10
UNC-Asheville 52
NJIT 14 1st Half 5:40
UMass Lowell 21
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
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: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close