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Twins rally past ChiSox to avoid season-opening sweep

Apr 4, 2014 - 2:07 AM Chicago, IL ( - Oswaldo Arcia's RBI triple capped a ninth- inning rally that lifted the Minnesota Twins to a wild 10-9 victory over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Arcia's first hit of the young season followed Trevor Plouffe's single off Matt Lindstrom (0-1) that tied the score at 9-9, and enabled Minnesota to avoid being swept in the season-opening three-game series.

Chris Colabello drove in a career-high six runs on a pair of doubles and a groundout earlier in the contest, while Plouffe finished 2-for-4 with two RBI. Josmil Pinto belted a solo homer in the top of the eighth that forged an 8-8 tie, right before Marcus Semien put Chicago back ahead by homering in the bottom of the inning.

The White Sox had battled back from a 5-1 deficit after 4 1/2 innings, with Jose Abreu going 2-for-4 with four RBI to help fuel the comeback. Tyler Flowers collected a career-best four hits and Adam Dunn slugged a two-run homer that aided Chicago's cause.

Chicago starter Jose Quintana pitched well in a no-decision, permitting five runs -- just two of which were earned -- while striking out eight over six innings.

Lindstrom came on in the ninth to protect a 9-8 lead given to him by Semien, who snapped an 0-for-13 skid to begin the season by launching an offering from eventual winning pitcher Caleb Thielbar (1-0) over the wall in left. The Chicago closer retired two of the first three hitters, but Plouffe took a full-count pitch the other way for a base hit that plated pinch-runner Jason Bartlett with the tying run.

Arcia, also mired in an 0-for-13 rut, then stepped to the plate and crushed a Lindstrom slider to the wall in center as Plouffe circled the bases.

The White Sox brought the tying run to third in the bottom of the ninth, as Dayan Viciedo delivered a one-out, pinch-hit double off Twins closer Glen Perkins and advanced a pass when Arcia's relay throw from right field got away.

Perkins, who blew a save chance by allowing two ninth-inning runs in Wednesday's 7-6 loss, did manage to escape trouble by getting Alexei Ramirez to line right to shortstop Pedro Florimon and inducing a game-ending grounder to Paul Konerko.

"To be up four runs and then be down three runs and battle back and then they take the lead, that's a character win for sure right there," said Colabello. "A lot of great at-bats by a lot of guys today."

Twins starter Phil Hughes held the White Sox to one run over the first four innings, but was hit hard in the fifth as Chicago began to climb out of its 5-1 hole.

Adam Eaton began the rally with a leadoff triple and Abreu doubled him home in front of Dunn's mammoth homer to right that suddenly pulled Chicago within 5-4.

The White Sox then scored four times against reliever Anthony Swarzak in the sixth to pull ahead. One-out singles by Flowers and Leury Garcia and a walk to Eaton loaded the bases, and Semien worked a game-tying free pass before Abreu drilled Swarzak's curveball off the center-field wall for a bases-clearing triple that put Chicago up by an 8-5 count.

"We did a good job rallying back," said Flowers. "The enthusiasm in the dugout has been great this first series. If you look at the series, it's a good series, a good way to start the season."

Chicago's Nate Jones began the seventh by walking Brian Dozier and Mauer in succession, with both coming around to score on a Colabello grounder and Plouffe single, respectively.

Pinto then led off the eighth by connecting off Ronald Belisario to create an 8-8 deadlock that Semien erased in the bottom of the frame.

Quintana was let down by his defense during a 36-pitch third inning in which the Twins scored three times to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Minnesota's Eduardo Escobar avoided an out on two occasions during the frame, reaching first after striking out on a ball that skipped past Flowers for a wild pitch and taking second when first baseman Abreu was called for obstruction on Quintana's successful pickoff play.

Quintana then issued a pair of walks to fill the sacks for Colabello, whose sinking liner to right got by a diving Avasail Garcia for a bases-clearing double.

Colabello struck again in his next at-bat, following consecutive fifth-inning singles from Mauer and Josh Willingham with an opposite-field smash to the base of the right-field wall that sent home both runners and increased the lead to 5-1.

Chicago had taken an early 1-0 edge on Alejandro De Aza's third homer in as many games, a leadoff blast in the bottom of the second.

Game Notes

Colabello's six RBI were one more than his previous career best, set at Houston on Sept. 2 of last season ... Quintana led the majors with 17 no- decisions last season ... Prior to the game, the Twins activated reliever Brian Duensing from the paternity list and optioned pitcher Michael Tonkin to Triple-A Rochester ... Dunn has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since June 10-11 of last season ... White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie sat out a second straight day with the flu.