Hammer Delivers in the Clutch; Twins Sweep Sox


Josh Willingham’s three-run double in the seventh inning was the difference in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the White Sox. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsYet again, it was a series shortened by bad weather, but nonetheless, it was another sweep for the Minnesota Twins, who beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-3, to extend their winning streak to four games and improve their record to 8-7. Scott Diamond (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K) was impressive en route to earning his first victory since coming off the DL on April 13, and Minnesota was able to overcome another deficit on the road to move within a 1/2 game of the division-leading Kansas City Royals in the AL Central. With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh inning, Josh Willingham (2-for-4, 3 RBI) stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded; and unlike the sixth inning when he grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bags full, Hammer connected on Jesse Crain‘s first offering for a bases-clearing double to put the Twins ahead 5-2, and they would never look back. Adam Dunn broke his 0-for-31 slump and the game’s tie with a solo HR in the bottom half of the seventh, but Minnesota would hold-on to the defeat their division rivals and move above the .500 mark for the first time since April 7.

Glen Perkins (1 IP, 2 K) remained perfect in save situations, retiring the heart of Chicago’s line up in succession to notch his fifth save of the year. Although he walked twice, Joe Mauer (0-for-3) saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end, but his heroics weren’t needed, as players like Jamey Carroll (2-for-5, 2 R) and Aaron Hicks (1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 SB) picked up the slack for the All-Star catcher, who saw his average “fall” to .375 on the young season. Gavin Floyd (6 IP, 1 ER, 6 K) pitched well for Chicago but it was not enough, and with the loss, the White Sox (7-11) dropped their third consecutive game and fell into last place in the division behind the Cleveland Indians (7-10).

The Twins now return home to prepare for their upcoming two-game, interleague series with the Miami Marlins (4-15) at Target Field. Tomorrow’s game is in question because of more wintry weather and could result in another postponement, but if Mother Nature cooperates, Kevin Correia (1-1) will look to continue his hot start against Miami’s Ricky Nolasco (0-2). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 CST.