Final Score: Minnesota 7, Chicago 5
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Justin Morneau had two home runs, including the go-ahead grand slam in the top of the seventh inning, and the Minnesota Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox, 7-5, in the opener of a four-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Donnie Veal (1-3) issued the third walk of the inning to load the bases. Nate Jones came on the mound and struck out Josh Willingham, but then Morneau came to the plate.
On the seventh pitch from Jones, Morneau hammered a 98 MPH fastball to right field, giving his team the lead for good.
"That seventh was a little rough," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "You don't make them swing the bat, then they get on and then they get four at once. So that inning was a little rough."
Brian Duensing (5-1) got the final out in the sixth to pick up the win. Starter Kyle Gibson gave up three runs on four hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings.
"I've got to make sure I stay out of patterns, but at the same time, don't go away from my strength," said Gibson. "If my strength is an inside fastball, even if the hitters know it's coming, I still have to be able to throw it."
Alexei Ramirez had a home run and three RBI while Paul Konerko also hit a homer for the White Sox. John Danks got the start and surrendered three runs on four hits while fanning nine and walking five over six frames.
Solo shots by Oswaldo Arcia and Morneau in the eighth and ninth, respectively, extended the Twins' lead to 7-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, Alejandro De Aza singled with two outs and Gordon Beckham delivered a ground-rule double, putting runners in scoring position. Ramirez's base hit to left plated them both, but Glen Perkins struck out Adam Dunn to end the game.
Minnesota got on the board when Colabello homered with one out in the second. However, Konerko responded in the home half with a solo shot to make it a 1-1 game.
Chicago took the lead in the fifth. Gordon Beckham drew a two-out walk and Ramirez clubbed a 2-2 pitch to left.
Prior to the game, the White Sox traded outfielder Alex Rios and cash considerations to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later or cash considertions. In addition, outfielder Dayan Viciedo was scratched from Game 1 due to left thumb discomfort ... Morneau has 20 career multi-home run games and is three away from tying Tony Oliva for third in franchise history ... Willingham made his return following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on July 2. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts ... The Twins hit 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position ... Minnesota's Liam Hendricks is scheduled to face Chicago's Charlie Leesman, who is making his major league debut, in Game 2.
08/09 23:00:40 ET
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