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(Tuesday, May 22nd)
Final Score: Minnesota 9, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - P.J. Walters turned in a season-best performance for any Twins starting pitcher and the bats more than did the rest, as Minnesota routed Chicago, 9-2, to kick off a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
Walters (2-1) pitched from the first out to the last, giving up two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks for the Twins, who have won five of six overall. Walters not only pitched a complete game, but he became the first Twins starter to record an out in the eighth inning this season.
"We gave him a nice lead and he did what a pitcher is supposed to do with it, ran with it," said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
Justin Morneau hit a three-run home run, while Josh Willingham and Alexi Casilla each drove in a pair of runs in the win.
Gavin Floyd (3-5) gave up all nine runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and three walks over 3 2/3 frames. The right-hander dropped his eighth consecutive start against the Twins, becoming the first White Sox pitcher to drop that many consecutive starts against one opponent since Tommy Thomas fell to the New York Yankees from 1926-1928.
Gordon Beckham hit a solo home run in the first and Paul Konerko drove in a run in the ninth for the White Sox, who saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
"We did the best we could. It just wasn't there tonight," said Konerko.
The White Sox got on the scoreboard first with Beckham's home run into the seats in the left-center field power alley.
The lead was fleeting, as the Twins' sluggish offense jumped on Floyd for four runs in the second and another five in the fourth, chasing the White Sox starter. Morneau walked to start the second and advanced to third on Ryan Doumit's double to right. Both runners came around to score when Casilla chopped a grounder down the first-base line that hit off Konerko's glove and ricocheted into no-man's land in right field for a double. Jamey Carroll's subsequent single scored Casilla, and the savvy baserunner moved to second on the throw. Carroll ended up on third thanks to a wild pitch and scored the inning's fourth run on Denard Span's base hit.
Minnesota again played the extra-base game in the fourth. Carroll was hit by a pitch with one out and went to third on Span's double into right-center field. After a groundout, Floyd intentionally walked Joe Mauer to load the bases for Willingham.
Willingham singled home two runners and Morneau followed with a three-run homer to right center for a 9-1 game.
Chicago scored its second run on Konerko's RBI groundout in the ninth.
Walters and Scott Diamond are 5-1 this season, while the rest of the Twins starting staff is 5-21...Beckham has five home runs on the season, while Morneau has six for the Twins...Span finished 2-for-5 with his fifth stolen base of the season...Floyd has given up 16 earned runs over his last 9 2/3 frames...Walters threw just 88 pitches into the eighth frame, the same number Floyd threw in 3 2/3 innings...The White Sox placed third baseman Brent Morel (back strain) on the 15-day disabled list.
05/23 01:04:13 ET