White Sox 6,Twins 1: Twins can't capitalize on Pavano's strong start
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Zach Stewart threw six sharp innings in his White Sox debut, Paul Konerko drove in two runs and Brent Lillibridge added a late two-run homer as Chicago beat the Minnesota Twins 6-1 on Saturday night.
The White Sox secured the first series win against their division rivals since 2009, and first in Minnesota since 2007 by taking the first two games of the weekend series.
Stewart (1-1) was called up from Triple-A Charlotte less than 24 hours before his fourth career major league start. Jake Peavy was originally scheduled to pitch opposite Carl Pavano (6-9), but the White Sox bumped the veteran right-hander to Sunday to make room for the 24-year-old Stewart.
He didn't disappoint.
Acquired in a four-player trade from Toronto on July 27, Stewart gave up eight hits over 6 1-3 innings with two strikeouts and a walk.
Pavano surrendered nine hits and two runs -- one unearned -- over eight innings with five strikeouts. But the Twins' bats came up mostly empty against Stewart.
Stewart breezed through his first four innings and handled his first challenge in the fifth with great poise. Facing Joe Mauer with runners on second and third with two outs, he struck out the two-time AL batting champion to end the threat.
Chicago clung to a 2-1 lead before breaking it open in the ninth. Alejandro De Aza scored after a wild pitch by Joe Nathan and a throwing error by catcher Drew Butera. Konerko singled in Juan Pierre, and Lillibridge -- pinch hitting for the struggling Adam Dunn -- sent a 2-0 fastball from Nathan into the left-field stands to send the fans packing.
Chris Sale and Jason Frasor pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief and Sergio Santos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Twins scored their only run in the sixth when Danny Valenica drove in Jason Kubel to make it 2-1 and put runners at the corners with one out. But Delmon Young hit into a double play to get Stewart out of the inning.
Mauer went 0 for 4 and is now 3 for 21 (.143) this season with two outs and runners in scoring position.
NOTES: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said 1B Justin Morneau (neck) felt good after Friday night's rehab stint with Triple-A Rochester. Morneau played again Saturday night, and is expected to play at least a week at Rochester before the Twins consider activating him.