MINNEAPOLIS – Adam Dunn said he feels fine and Jake Peavy was in good spirits after notching another win. The White Sox look ready for the stretch run, with a big test coming in less than 24 hours.
Peavy baffled Minnesota again, Dayan Viciedo and Dunn homered, and the White Sox beat the Twins 9-2 on Sunday.
The Sox scored six runs in the sixth inning to support Peavy (11-11) and moved 2 games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central.
The Tigers lost to Cleveland on Sunday and travel to Chicago for a makeup game today. It will be the final time the two teams meet this season.
“It’s going to be a game with a lot of emotion,” Peavy said. “We got our hands full, but at the same time we think we can get it done.”
Joe Mauer homered in his return after missing five games with back spasms, but the Twins weren’t able to avoid the sweep and lost to the Sox for the 13th time in 16 games.
After Alexi Casilla’s double in the fifth made it 3-2, Dunn and Viciedo went deep off Scott Diamond (11-8) in the sixth to squash the Twins’ comeback.
Dunn opened the inning with a towering solo shot that traveled 415 feet before finally falling into the first row of the upper deck in right field and bouncing back on the field.
Viciedo drove his 21st home run – and the Sox’s 192nd as a team – into the upper deck in left after Alex Rios tripled.
The White Sox batted around and added three more unearned runs in the sixth, capped by Dunn’s RBI single.
The slugger returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing seven games with a strained muscle on his right side. He said he feels fine and is ready to contribute down the stretch.
“Seemed to work out perfect,” Dunn said. “I’m going to be in there tomorrow. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to be able to play against those guys and the rest of the season. It worked out.”
Peavy allowed two runs and struck out six in six innings. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.73 ERA against the Twins since the All-Star break and 0-6 in eight starts against everyone else over that time.
After Mauer homered in the first, Peavy retired the next eight Twins hitters before Mauer doubled in the fourth.
Justin Morneau walked, but Peavy struck out Ryan Doumit and Chris Parmelee to end the threat and keep the White Sox in front.
White Sox pitchers allowed just five runs on 12 hits in the three-game series.
“They’re going to be right there, as they are right now,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about the White Sox. “That’s a very good baseball team built with a good pitching staff. There are a lot of arms that come out of that pen throwing really hard and they have some starters that have been there and done it.”
Following today’s makeup game, the White Sox travel to Kansas City for a three-game series with the Royals. The White Sox have won just 10 of its last 22 games against Detroit and Kansas City.
“Detroit is a great team. They’re going to take care of business,” Peavy said. “We’re trying to win this thing ourselves and not have anyone else have to win or have to lose for us. It sure is nice when that happens, but Detroit’s a great them and they aren’t going anywhere.”
Diamond has just one win in his last seven starts after getting off to a hot start.
After allowing a career-worst 10 hits in his last outing, Diamond surrendered six runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings on Sunday.
Minnesota is done playing the White Sox, but can still help its rival out down the stretch. Six of the Twins’ final 15 games are against the Tigers.
“We’re playing some playoff teams from here on out and we’re going to give them everything we have,” Gardenhire said.
Kevin Youkilis and Dewayne Wise each added two RBIs as the White Sox earned their ninth sweep and second over Minnesota.
“It was good all the way around,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “Home runs are good, but I like the ones where we just push a couple across there.”
NOTES: Jose Quintana (6-4, 3.52) will start for the White Sox against the Tigers on Monday. The rookie beat Detroit on Sept. 10, allowing one run and striking out seven in seven innings. Quintana had allowed 12 runs in his previous two starts and will be pitching on an extra two days of rest. “It actually does feel good about this time of season to get a couple extra days,” he said. “It gives your arm a little extra strength so I’ll feel good for tomorrow.” ... Twins slugger Josh Willingham was given the day off and Ben Revere played left field. ... Youkilis’ double to center in the third just missed clearing the wall. Youkilis needs one more home run to become the sixth White Sox player with at least 20 this season. ... Out since Wednesday with an oblique strain, Doumit caught for the Twins and went 0 for 3.