MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chris Herrmann’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth scored pinch-runner Doug Bernier and lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
The Twins trailed 3-2 heading into the eighth, but Joe Mauer doubled and scored on a base hit from Justin Morneau to tie it. Herrmann came through against Ramon Troncoso (1-4) in the ninth to complete the comeback.
Trevor Plouffe hit a solo homer and Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs and struck out four in 6 1-3 innings for the Twins.
Paul Konerko had two hits and an RBI, and Andre Rienzo gave up two runs — one earned — on four hits with two strikeouts in six innings for the White Sox, who lost their 10th straight on the road.
Jared Burton (2-6) pitched the ninth for the win.
Plouffe led off the eighth with a single to left and Troncoso walked Chris Colabello. Clete Thomas’s bunt failed when catcher Josh Phegley threw Plouffe out at third, but Herrmann squeezed a base hit just past a diving Konerko at first to win it.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said he thought Pelfrey could be running out of gas as his innings total has climbed over 100 in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, and he got off to a sluggish start that appeared to support that theory.
Pelfrey gave up RBI singles to Adam Dunn and Konerko to fall behind 2-0 in the first. But Pelfrey was able to grind into the seventh and keep the Twins in the game, working much quicker on the mound this time around after being prodded by the Twins’ coaching staff to speed things up for most of the season.
Plouffe got the Twins on the board in the fifth with a home run into the bullpen in center field and Josh Willingham’s single scored Brian Dozier to cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth.
With White Sox manager Robin Ventura trying to groom Nate Jones as the team’s setup man of the future, he sent the right-hander out there in the eighth to face lefties Morneau and Mauer rather than going to left-hander Donnie Veal. Mauer, who had five hits in a loss to the Indians on Wednesday, ripped double to center field and just beat a strong throw home from right fielder Avisail Garcia to tie the game, 3-3.
White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham left the game in the fourth inning with a strained right quadriceps. Beckham, who leads the team with a .310 average, went 1 for 2 with a single and a run scored before being pulled for what the team called precautionary reasons.
NOTES: White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo missed his sixth straight game with a sore left thumb. Ventura said Viciedo was making progress. … Twins GM Terry Ryan said C/OF Ryan Doumit (head) has been improving and could be activated as soon as Friday. … RHP Nick Blackburn, who has spent all season at Triple-A Rochester, will have surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee on Friday, Ryan said. … RHP Kevin Correia (8-8, 4.59) is scheduled to pitch for the Twins on Friday against White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 3.70).
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