for this game

Nick Blackburn breezes for surging Twins

Sep 22, 2009 - 4:22 AM By RICK GANO AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO(AP) -- Nick Blackburn is enjoying the Minnesota Twins' late surge and everything that comes with it.

"This is what we all play for. It's a blast," the right-hander said Monday night after pitching seven sharp innings to help Minnesota beat the fading Chicago White Sox 7-0 for its seventh victory in eight games.

With 12 games to go, the Twins moved within 2 1/2 of first-place Detroit in the AL Central.

"Being in a race like this makes it even more exciting," Blackburn said. "There's more pressure, but it makes us enjoy the wins even more."

Blackburn (11-11) allowed eight singles with no walks and six strikeouts to earn his first road win since May 31 against Tampa Bay. He is 4-1 this season against Chicago.

He got plenty of offensive support from shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who helped the White Sox win the AL Central last season. Cabrera had a triple, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single. He also reached on an error and scored three times.

Just as important, Cabrera has taken charge of keeping the Twins pumped up.

"He gets everybody else fired up," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He started the game yelling, hooting and hollering before the first pitch."

Cabrera said he just wanted his teammates to know that good things are ahead if they stay emotionally ready.

"I just thought everybody was too quiet in the beginning of the game," he said.

The Twins did get a scare in the sixth inning when center fielder Denard Span had to leave the game after being hit in the helmet by a pitch from reliever Randy Williams. Span was able to get off the ground and leave the field with assistance.

"I have a headache and I'm a little dizzy," Span said after the game. "It was even scarier on the replay. ... I've never been hit in the head before. ... I'll take some Tylenol tonight and see how I am tomorrow."

The White Sox lost for the fifth time in six games. They are seven back of the Tigers and 4 1/2 behind Minnesota.

The offense continues to sputter. Chicago was shut out for the 13th time this season and second time in four games. No wonder the boos started to pour down at U.S. Cellular Field as the game ended.

"I don't blame them," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "Come and see this day in and day out and obviously they're going to act that way. ... They are right. They pay money to watch a better baseball game and right now we're not doing it."

Daniel Hudson (0-1) took the loss in his first major league start. He allowed four hits and three runs in five innings, but only one run was earned.

Hudson gave up a first-inning triple to Cabrera, who scored on A.J. Pierzynski's two-out passed ball.

Starting because Gavin Floyd has a sore hip, Hudson walked Span with the bases loaded in the second - the Twins' third walk of the inning - to make it 2-0.

In the fifth, he fielded Cabrera's leadoff bunt and threw past first for an error, putting Cabrera at second. Michael Cuddyer delivered a two-out RBI single to push the Twins' lead to three.

Nick Punto hit an RBI single off D.J. Carrasco in the sixth after a single by Matt Tolbert and a wild pitch. Williams relieved and his pitch hit Span in the helmet.

Carlos Gomez replaced Span and, after he and Punto pulled off a double steal, Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly that made it 5-0. Cabrera singled in another run in the eighth and Jason Kubel added an RBI double.

"We're trying to finish the season hard. When (Justin) Morneau and (Joe) Crede went down for us, you have to step up," Cabrera said.

NOTES: Chicago RF Jermaine Dye, MVP of the 2005 World Series, went 0 for 3 and is 33 for 196 (.168) in the second half of the season. He heard some boos after hitting a comebacker in the sixth inning with a runner at third. ... Punto had two singles, two walks and two stolen bases.






  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Twins 7, White Sox 0  FinalSep 22 7:50 AM


  • White Sox 0, Twins 7 - FINAL
    MINNESOTA ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    D Span cf 2 0 0 1 1 0 2 .305
    C Gomez pr-cf 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .234
    O Cabrera ss 4 3 2 2 0 0 3 .271
    J Mauer c 4 0 1 0 1 0 2 .373
    J Kubel rf 5 0 1 1 0 3 3 .300
    M Cuddyer 1b 5 0 1 1 0 0 2 .271
    D Young

    Sep 21 10:55 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JASON KUBEL SCORED ORLANDO CABRERA
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J KUBEL ON SECOND, J MAUER ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 7
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: M CUDDYER (.272, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Twins 7, White Sox 0  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 21 10:36 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED NICK PUNTO
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O CABRERA ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 6
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,8TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.371, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Twins 6, White Sox 0  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 21 10:32 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED NICK PUNTO
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C GOMEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 5
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.371, 0-FOR-3)

    Twins 5, White Sox 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 21 9:59 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED MATT TOLBERT
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 4
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D SPAN (.305, 0-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Twins 4, White Sox 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 21 9:50 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED ORLANDO CABRERA
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 3
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: D YOUNG (.267, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Twins 3, White Sox 0  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 21 9:31 PM


  • AL
    AT CHI WHITE SOX - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO DENARD SPAN SCORED DELMON YOUNG
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D SPAN ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON SECOND, M
    TOLBERT ON THIRD, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    CHI WHITE SOX 0 TOP,2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: O CABRERA (.271, 1-FOR-1)

    Twins 2, White Sox 0  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 21 8:37 PM


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


    CURRENT PITCHERS: MIN - NICK BLACKBURN
    CHA - DANIEL HUDSON

    DUE UP FOR CHI WHITE SOX: S PODSEDNIK (.304, 6 HR, 45 RBI)
    G BECKHAM (.266, 12 HR, 54 RBI)
    A PIERZYNSKI (.309, 13 HR,

    Twins 1, White Sox 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 21 8:16 PM