Twins rally in seventh to defeat White Sox, snap three-game skid

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 27, 2014 - 11:09 PM

view larger photos


Despite the strain of a trying season, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t lost his appreciation for gallows humor. Sunday, he said a member of the team’s staff had recommended he reserve a lower-floor hotel room for the Twins’ upcoming road trip, so he wouldn’t hurt himself if he jumped.

Gardenhire smiled even more broadly after a 4-3 victory over the White Sox ended a three-game losing streak at Target Field. Coming out of the All-Star break, the Twins believed they could show they are not trudging down the road to a fourth 90-loss season in a row. A 10-game homestand was supposed to be their chance to prove it — and to convince General Manager Terry Ryan not to break up the roster.

With both their starting pitching and their offense floundering, the Twins completed the homestand 3-7 and sit 10 games below .500. Sunday’s victory gave them a sorely needed emotional boost. Behind six solid innings from starter Yohan Pino, the Twins took an early lead, lost it and scrapped their way back to dodge a sweep by their Central Division rivals.

Sam Fuld’s two-run single in the seventh inning put the Twins ahead 4-2 before White Sox catcher Adrian Nieto homered in the eighth. Twins closer Glen Perkins loaded the bases in the ninth, then struck out Alejandro De Aza and got Gordon Beckham to fly out to Fuld to end a game as dramatic as it was cathartic.

“It’s been really frustrating around here,’’ Gardenhire said. “It’s been a very disappointing homestand, but to get the win [Sunday] was huge. There was a lot of relief.’’

There were wide swaths of empty seats Sunday in a crowd announced at 27,818, testament to a grumpy fanbase becoming ever more critical of Twins players and management. Ryan voiced support for Gardenhire, saying he is “holding it together.’’ Ryan also said he will not bend to pressure to recall players and will bring up only those he deems superior to players currently on the roster.

Still, he acknowledged the gravity of the Twins’ situation. Weak starting pitching has put them in early holes, and their hitters have often appeared overmatched. Though injuries have also hurt, Ryan said the Twins cannot use that as an alibi, because successful teams find a way to rise above them.

“We’ve got to get back to competitive baseball,’’ Ryan said. “We’re going the wrong way. People expect you to at least have a relevant ballclub, and right now, we’re struggling in that area.’’

Gardenhire said the Twins’ top task is to shore up the starting pitching, which would take pressure off an overtaxed bullpen and stop forcing the offense to play from behind. Though he noted that some players are frustrated with their swings, he praised his team’s work ethic.

Perkins said the Twins’ mental state remains strong as well. He contends that the Twins are not a bad team, but an inconsistent one that is capable of better. With the home stand now a lost opportunity, he said the Twins have no choice other than to keep plugging away.

“Winning one isn’t a great consolation prize, but it’s better than losing,’’ Perkins said. “Hopefully, it will give us a little momentum.

 “It hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to go. But we have to keep going out and playing hard. That’s all we can do.”



    Up next: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday at Kansas City • TV: FSN (96.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question