Twins rally in 9th inning to beat White Sox 7-6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Jamey Caroll's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning scored Alexi Casilla and the Minnesota Twins won their fourth straight, beating the Chicago White Sox 7-6 Monday night.
Denard Span had two hits and two spectacular catches in center field for the Twins, and Danny Valencia added three hits and two RBIs.
A.J. Pierzynski homered in his first game after missing five with a strained oblique, and Alejandro De Aza returned from a wrist injury and matched a career high with four hits for the White Sox.
After Valencia led off the ninth with a single off reliever Brett Myers (0-1), Pierzynski's throw to first after fielding Brian Dozier's bunt sailed into right field, allowing each runner to move up.
Carroll followed with a fly ball to right, allowing Casilla to slide in with the winning run ahead of Alex Rios' throw.
De Aza's single in the eighth off reliever Jared Burton tied it 6-6 and was the first run scored on Burton since June 12.
The teams combined for nine hits and were tied 4-all after the first inning.
Chicago's big inning was highlighted by Pierzynski's three-run home run. Joe Mauer was one of four different Twins to drive in runs to tie it in the bottom half.
The Twins took a 6-4 lead in the third on an RBI single from Ryan Doumit and a sacrifice fly from Valencia.
With a runner on first and nobody out in the fifth, Rios drove a ball into the gap in left-center field. Span sprinted over, leaped against the wall, and took at least an extra base hit away from Rios.
Twins fans gave Span an extended standing ovation, eventually leading to the center fielder tipping his hat while still on the field.
Span earned another standing ovation after a diving catch to rob Pierzynski and end the seventh.
The Twins, who snapped a five-game skid against Chicago, lead the American League in scoring for July and have scored 96 runs in their last 14 home games.
Glen Perkins (2-1) pitched the ninth, striking out Pierzynski with Rios on first to end the inning. Pierzynski barked at home plate umpire Adrian Johnson on his way back to the dugout.
NOTES: Francisco Liriano debuts for the White Sox on Tuesday night after the Twins traded him to Chicago late Saturday. ... To make room for Liriano, the White Sox optioned Hector Santiago to Triple-A Charlotte. Santiago was 2-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 32 relief appearances, but manager Robin Ventura said he'll get a chance to start at Charlotte. ... Liriano (3-10, 5.31 ERA) said before Monday's game that he had no hard feelings toward the Twins after the trade and that he's ready to face his former team. "It just feels weird right now," he said. "I'm just trying to fit in, do my part." ... The Twins will counter with Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.99). The right-hander has allowed four runs or more in six of his last seven starts. ... Injured Twins starter Carl Pavano (rotator cuff) will make his first rehab start on Thursday in the Gulf Coast League.
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