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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Slumping outfielder Alex Rios snapped his bat over his knee after an eight-inning strikeout. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski broke a bat slamming it against the ground after an earlier strikeout.
The Chicago White Sox are beyond frustrated with not driving in baserunners.
Chicago left 13 runners on base and watched it’s six-game winning streak at Target Field end with a 5-4 loss against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday. Rios and Pierzynski’s strikeouts each came with runners at third base.
“I don’t think we lose,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I think we just gave this game away. We had a lot of chances, we can’t get the hit. You don’t do that, That’s the type of game you’re going to have.”
Danny Valencia’s two-run single snapped Minnesota’s 20-inning scoreless streak against Chicago and rookie Chris Parmelee added a two-run double to help the Twins finally breakthrough against Chicago.
Minnesota had been shutout in back-to-back games and scored just one run in the first three games of the four-game series. White Sox starter John Danks (6-11) lost his second straight start, allowing five runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four.
“I’m looking forward to next year starting clean,” Danks said. “It sounds like I’m giving up on the year; I’m not. I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I put myself in this position. It seems like this year, anything bad that could happen, has. That’s baseball. You got to be tough.”
This time, Chicago was the team struggling for the big hit.
The White Sox failed to capitalize in the sixth when they had runners at second and third with one out. After Alexei Ramirez grounded out back the pitcher, Paul Konerko was intentionally walked and A.J. Pierzynski hit into fielder’s choice, leaving the bases loaded.
Konerko had three hits and an RBI after getting a rare day off on Tuesday.
Chicago squandered another prime opportunity in the eighth against Minnesota reliever Glen Perkins. Juan Pierre walked to start the inning and Ramirez followed with a double to right. Pierre scored on an RBI groundout by Pierzynski, but the tying run was left at third base when Alex Rios struck out. Rios then broke his bat over his knee and tossed the pieces and his helmet aside in frustration.
“Since spring training we’re not that good at all getting those guys in with less than two outs,” Guillen said. “We’ve had a lot of problems all year long with them.”
Danks’ struggles on the road continued. The left-hander is 2-8 on the road this season with a 5.09 ERA, and was coming off an 8-run, 4 2-3 inning outing at Detroit his last time
With the Tigers’ 8-6 win against Cleveland on Wednesday, the White Sox are nine games back of Detroit in the American League Central and have just three games remaining with the Tigers.
It had been a while since the Twins had a clutch hit of their own. Prior to Valencia’s RBI single, Minnesota was 0 for 24 hitting with runners in scoring position dating back to Sept. 3 and had scored two runs total in the past 42 innings over that stretch.
“He feathered the ball down the right field line,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s about time one of those landed for us. That was a good thing. We got something to land for us and in a big situation.”
Carl Pavano (8-11) pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up three runs – one earned – and 10 hits as Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak. Joe Nathan closed the game with his 13th save in 16 chances.
NOTES: Guillen said OF Carlos Quentin could possibly return to action later this week, even though there is no possibility for a rehab stint. Quentin has taken batting practice the past two days as he recovers from a sprained shoulder suffered on Aug. 20. … Omar Vizquel’s fourth-inning single gave him 2,839 hits for his career, tying him with Charlie Gehringer for 45th place on the all-time list. … Gavin Floyd (12-10, 4.45 ERA) will start Thursday for Chicago, who opens a four-game series against Cleveland. Floyd received a no-decision while allowing four runs in five innings on Sept. 3 against Detroit, but has won his last three decisions. … After an off day, Minnesota will send Kevin Slowey (0-4, 5.31 ERA) to the mound at Detroit. Slowey has given up two runs and pitched seven innings in each of his past two starts. The Twins have scored just one run total in the two games and three runs total in Slowey’s four starts. He is 5-0 with a 4.93 ERA lifetime against the Tigers.
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