for this game

Slowey, Twins blank White Sox, move closer to first

Jul 29, 2008 - 4:04 AM By Anthony Maggio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Sitting at his locker following a season-worst outing that saw him give up eight runs in three innings against the Chicago White Sox on June 8, Minnesota Twins starter Kevin Slowey got some sage advice from staff veteran Livan Hernandez.

Slowey threw his second career shutout - and second in his last four starts - while Denard Span and Justin Morneau both chipped in a pair of third-inning, two-run homers to give the Twins a 7-0 victory over the White Sox at the Metrodome on Monday.

The advice?

"You know there are going to be more of these," Slowey recalled Hernandez saying.

Not on Monday.

Span's home run off of Mark Buehrle was the first of his career and marked his first career multi-RBI contest, sparking the Twins (58-47) to a victory that pulled them within 1 1/2 games of Chicago (59-45) in the AL Central.

"To hit my first major league home run off of him means a lot to me, especially with the intensity and atmosphere we are in right now," Span said. "That was a moment I'll never forget."

Buehrle (8-9) struggled for the second time in three starts against the Twins this season despite entering the game 6-2 with a 1.76 ERA in his previous nine outings overall. The lefthander allowed five runs - four earned - and eight hits with one walk and two strikeouts in five innings.

The two home runs allowed marked the first time Buehrle gave up multiple blasts in a start since the season opener, when Cleveland hit a pair of home runs during a seven-run second inning. Buehrle had not allowed as many as four runs in a frame since giving up five to the Indians in the first inning on May 27 in Cleveland.

Buehrle fell to 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA against Minnesota this season.

"He wasn't sharp like we see him all the time, but we made a couple of errors in one inning and that didn't help him," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The first couple innings were fine, then he started leaving the ball up and they took advantage of that."

Meanwhile, Slowey (7-7) was cruising.

The righthander, in his first full season in the majors, came into the game with an 0-2 record and a 12.38 ERA in two starts against Chicago this season - and sported a 9.00 ERA in his last three starts overall. But after shutting out a potent Milwaukee lineup at the Metrodome on June 29, Slowey mixed his pitches to allow just six hits and never more than one baserunner in any inning.

"I don't think there are any teams we face that don't swing the bats well, but those are some teams with some very good hitters and very powerful hitters," Slowey said. "Our gameplan was keep the ball low, make your misses low and off the plate and let the defense work behind you."

Slowey needed just 103 pitches to turn away Chicago, striking out five and walking one to win his fourth consecutive home start. He retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.

"He's still in the learning process, but he grew up a little bit tonight," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Also growing up in a hurry is Span, who is batting .342 since being called up on June 30. After Nick Punto reached on an infield single with one out in the third inning, Span got the 30,126 fans out of their seats with a 399-foot blast off the facing of the upper deck in right field.

Alexi Casilla followed with a walk, and Morneau crushed a 1-2 pitch over the center-field wall two batters later to give Minnesota a quick 4-0 cushion.

"It was just one of those days that I didn't have my location and I was trying to go in on a couple guys," Buehrle said. "I left it over the middle of the plate, and that's what they're supposed to do with it."

Jermaine Dye had a home run taken away in the bottom half of the inning -- replays showed it was foul despite third base umpire Bill Welke's initial home run call - negating Chicago's only real threat to put runs on the board.

Casilla scored on Morneau's single in the fifth inning after initially reaching on Josh Fields' throwing error that replays showed should have resulted in an out at first base. Casilla also advanced to second on Alexei Ramirez's error on Joe Mauer's fielder's choice grounder.

Buehrle ultimately pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 5-0, but the Twins already had more than enough runs for Slowey.

A two-run double by Brendan Harris off Nick Masset provided the final runs for the Twins, who won their third straight contest while snapping a five-game losing streak to Chicago. The White Sox were shut out for the ninth time this season and for the first time since June 25 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Seven of the nine shutouts have come on the road.

Minnesota outfielder Carlos Gomez entered the contest as a defensive replacement to start the eighth inning, his first action since leaving Friday's game against the Indians with a lower back injury after crashing into the wall to make a catch. He singled and scored in the bottom half of the inning.

Pierzynski was the only player with multiple hits for Chicago, which lost its second straight game following a four-game winning streak.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
    MINNESOTA 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 2 x 7 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHA - MARK BUEHRLE, EHREN WASSERMANN (6TH), NICK MASSET (8TH) AND
    A.J. PIERZYNSKI
    MIN - KEVIN SLOWEY AND JOE MAUER

    HOME RUNS: CHA - NONE
    MIN - DENARD SPAN (1) OFF

    Jul 28 10:38 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRENDAN HARRIS SCORED MIKE REDMOND AND CARLOS
    GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B HARRIS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0
    MINNESOTA 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: N PUNTO (.290, 1-FOR-3)

    White Sox 0, Twins 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 28 10:28 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED ALEXI CASILLA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON FIRST, J MAUER ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.296, 1-FOR-2)

    White Sox 0, Twins 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 28 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JUSTIN MORNEAU (17) TO CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF MARK BUEHRLE SCORED ALEXI CASILLA.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0, MINNESOTA 4
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.294, 0-FOR-1)

    White Sox 0, Twins 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 28 8:58 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY DENARD SPAN (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF MARK BUEHRLE SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHI WHITE SOX 0, MINNESOTA 2
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: A CASILLA (.317, 1-FOR-1)

    White Sox 0, Twins 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 28 8:51 PM