MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer had two hits and two RBIs, and the Minnesota Twins beat the White Sox 6-5 Sunday to complete their first four-game sweep against Chicago in 20 years.
Anthony Swarzak and Casey Fien combined for three shutout innings of relief and Jared Burton earned his first save since May 30, 2013, with a perfect ninth. Kurt Suzuki had three hits.
Gordon Beckham and Jose Abreu had two RBIs apiece for the White Sox, who have lost eight straight games against AL Central rivals.
After Chicago scored five times in the third for a 5-3 lead, Brian Dozier and Mauer had RBI singles and Josh Willingham added a sacrifice fly in the fourth to put the Twins ahead for good.
The Twins last swept Chicago in a four-game series June 9-12, 1994.
On an overcast, humid afternoon, a pair of starters who had been pitching lately like aces struggled.
Minnesota’s Phil Hughes (8-3) lasted just five innings but got the win. He allowed eight hits and tied a season high by giving up five earned runs. Hughes allowed his first walk in 107 batters during the White Sox’s five-run third inning.
In his past five starts for Chicago, John Danks (6-6) was 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA, allowing just 24 hits.
However, none of those were against Minnesota, a team he has struggled against. Danks allowed six earned runs on a season high-tying 10 hits. In his last eight starts versus the Twins since Aug, 11, 2010, he is 0-6 with a 6.18 ERA.
The left-hander walked the first two batters he faced, but the Twins managed just one run. Minnesota, however, scored twice in the second for a 3-0 lead.
Suzuki led off with a double, but was thrown out at home trying to score on a single by Eduardo Escobar. Escobar scored one batter later on Sam Fuld’s double off the right field wall. Mauer added an RBI single later in the inning.
Hughes gave up the lead in the third.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. After Adam Eaton struck out on a full-count pitch, Beckham lined the first pitch he saw for a two-run double to the wall in left-center and Abreu followed with a two-run single up the middle for a 4-3 lead. A bloop single by Conor Gillaspie plated the inning’s final run.
NOTES: Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the third inning after arguing with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn. … Willingham returned to the Minnesota lineup after being given Saturday off. He went 0 for 4 and is 2 for 22 since last Monday. … Adam Eaton singled in the first inning and has reached base safely in 17 straight games … Chicago’s Chris Sale (6-1, 2.20) is scheduled to start Monday at Baltimore against the Orioles’ Wei-Yin Chen (7-2, 3.98). … Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.25) is to pitch for Minnesota Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series in Los Angeles against C.J. Wilson (7-6, 3.34) of the Angels.
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