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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Twins rally behind Morneau to beat Sox       Send a link to a friend

[May 29, 2007]  MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Twins rallied after manager Ron Gardenhire hollered at all four umpires when A.J. Pierzynski appeared to spike first baseman Justin Morneau, turning a one-run deficit into a 10-4 win on Monday.

Nick Punto, Torii Hunter and Jason Tyner each had three hits and Mike Redmond drove in three runs for Minnesota.

The game's intensity level rose after Pierzynski, a former Twin, possibly spiked Morneau while running out a double play to end the White Sox half of the sixth inning.

Gardenhire stormed out of the dugout before the White Sox took the field and yelled at the umpires for about a minute. It was unclear exactly what he was upset about. The manager may have been upset that Pierzynski was not immediately reprimanded for the perceived spiking, or an umpire may have warned Morneau to stop glaring at the Chicago catcher from the dugout.

Either way, the incident appeared to fire up the Twins, who scored five times in its half of the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.

The Twins tied it on a Punto infield single and took the lead when Torii Hunter chopped one off the plate to for another run-scoring infield single.

Redmond followed with a bases-clearing three-RBI double off Chicago reliever David Aardsma.

Twins ace Johan Santana uncharacteristically coughed up an early 3-0 lead by surrendering home runs to Luis Terrero and Paul Konerko in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Chicago took a 4-3 lead on Konerko's two-RBI single in the sixth.

Santana (6-4) zeroed in after the sixth. He pitched eight innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. The reigning Cy Young winner struck out seven in eight innings.

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A highlight-reel catch from Hunter in center field helped too. Hunter climbed the wall in right-center field to rob Jim Thome of a home run in the eighth, bringing the 27,090 in the Metrodome to their feet.

The Twins got to White Sox starter Jose Contreras when he is most vulnerable -- the early innings.

The Twins scored three times in the second inning on singles from Jason Tyner, Punto and Michael Cuddyer.

Contreras (4-5) has allowed 21 of his 34 runs this season in the first two innings.

Contreras gave up seven runs over 5 1-3 innings. He allowed 10 hits and struck out four.

Minnesota added two more in the eighth inning, one on a throwing error by Pierzynski., who overthrew third base trying with Hunter stealing. The play prompted many in the Metrodome to begin a mock chant of "A.J., A.J."

Notes: Darin Erstad extended his hitting streak to 12 and Jermaine Dye to 14 with first-inning singles. ... Santana has pitched at least five innings in 102 straight starts. ... The White Sox entered Monday's game last in the AL in batting average (.236), runs scored (188), on-base percentage (.312) and slugging percentage (.376). ... Morneau went 0-for-5 and snapped his 10-game hitting streak.

[Text copied from file received from AP Digital]

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