MINNEAPOLIS – Brian Dozier’s RBI-single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Friday night.
Kurt Suzuki had three hits and an RBI and the Twins picked up closer Glen Perkins (3-0), who gave up two runs in the top of the ninth to blow his third save in 21 chances.
Daniel Webb (4-1) walked Eduardo Escobar and Sam Fuld with one out in the ninth and Escobar beat the throw home with a beautiful slide to win it. The play was confirmed upon review.
Gordon Beckham and Jose Abreu homered for the Sox.
Dozier, who is in consideration for the All-Star game thanks to his 15 home runs and stellar defense at second base, was mobbed by his teammates after the big hit and cheered loudly as he exited the field.
The Twins led 4-2 in the ninth, but Paul Konerko delivered a pinch-hit, RBI-single and Adam Eaton tied the game with a double down the left field line to tie it.
The Sox had a golden chance to take the lead in the ninth with the bases loaded and one out, but Dozier and shortstop Danny Santana turned a superb double play off a tough ground ball from Conor Gillaspie to end the inning.
Escobar drove in two runs and Ricky Nolasco gave up two runs and six hits in 51/3 innings to help the Twins to their second straight win after a five-game losing streak.
Hector Noesi gave up four runs, six hits and struck out four in seven innings for the White Sox, who lost for the sixth time in the last eight games.
The Twins (34-38) have lost at least 90 games in three straight seasons and are on pace to near that dubious number again this season. But an upgraded rotation and some promising performances from veterans like Suzuki, who had a double, two singles and an RBI, and youngsters like Escobar have brought some much-needed optimism to Target Field this season.
Nolasco got off to an inauspicious start when Beckham and Abreu hit 825 feet worth of home runs off him in the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Beckham’s was a screamer into the second deck in left field while Abreu’s landed in the bullpen in left-center for his 21st of the season, drawing boos from an impatient home crowd.
But the offense picked him up. Escobar’s 22nd double of the season scored two in the three-run second inning and Suzuki drove in another to make it 4-2 in the third.
Nolasco settled down after that, not allowing a runner past first base over the next four innings. But the right-hander who was brought in to stabilize the top of a lackluster rotation has often run into problems with a big inning later in his starts and manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t take any chances when two hitters reached base with one out in the sixth.
Matt Guerrier got the Twins out of the jam by getting Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo to fly out and Caleb Thielbar and Jared Burton got the ball to Perkins in the ninth.