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Minnesota Twins second baseman Orlando Hudson, right, looks to a throw after forcing out Chicago White Sox's Andruw Jones during the second inning Friday. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Twins need extra innings to defeat White Sox, extend winning streak

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sports Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Twins need extra innings to defeat White Sox, extend winning streak
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

CHICAGO (AP) -- J.J. Hardy drove in Joe Mauer with a single in the 11th inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Friday night for their fourth straight win.


The go-ahead rally started when Mauer, pinch hitting for rookie Drew Butera, drew a leadoff walk against Tony Pena (0-1). He was sacrificed to second by Denard Span and moved to third on Orlando Hudson's line drive to deep center.

That set the stage for Hardy, who is off to a hot start since arriving from a trade with Milwaukee. He singled past diving shortstop Alexei Ramirez to make it 4-3.

Hardy's hit made a winner of Brian Duensing (1-0), who pitched two scoreless innings. Jon Rauch worked the 11th for his third save in three chances, although the White Sox threatened.

Alex Rios singled with one out but got caught stealing, and Omar Vizquel followed with another one before Span made a diving catch on Ramirez's sinking liner to center to end the game. Pena took the loss despite allowing just one hit in three innings.

Justin Morneau had three hits for the Twins, and Jim Thome received a standing ovation when he pinch-hit for Nick Punto in the 10th. He responded by tipping his helmet and then struck out in his first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field since the White Sox traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

The White Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the bottom half after back-to-back singles by Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin against Duensing, but Mark Teahen grounded into a double-play to remain hitless this season.

Chicago's John Danks and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano each threw six innings.

Danks, a 13-game winner last season, allowed two runs and struck out six while walking one against a team that had nine homers and at least one in each of the first four games.

Liriano, coming off a five-win season, wasn't bad either, allowing three runs and four hits.

The Twins scored two in the sixth to take a 2-1 lead when Delmon Young drove in Morneau with a two-out single to shallow center and Ramirez booted Brendan Harris' chopper at shortstop, allowing Michael Cuddyer to score the go-ahead run. But the White Sox responded with two in the bottom half.

With runners on first and second and two out, Liriano threw a wild pitch to Rios, who then doubled to center to Quentin and Paul Konerko to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

The White Sox's bullpen couldn't protect it.

Scott Linebrink walked Span leading off the seventh and Hardy with one out before Morneau tied it at 3 with a double to the right-field corner off Randy Williams. The White Sox intentionally walked Cuddyer to load the bases for Jason Kubel, who fouled out. Rookie Sergio Santos then struck out Delmon Young and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

E Guillen was still seething about the 12 strikeouts on Thursday, saying, "We cannot strike out 12 times when we have a team that's not going to hit that many home runs. Our philosophy is running, put the ball in play. Well, our philosophy is not working right now, in two games," he said. Guillen added that hitting coach Greg Walker was not to blame for the problems at the plate.

- The Twins were 12-6 against Chicago last season.

Pioneer staff reports