Twins keep up pace with Tigers
CHICAGO (AP) -- Pressure is the least of Michael Cuddyer's worries as the Minnesota Twins continue their pursuit of first-place Detroit.
Cuddyer hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth and Matt Tolbert homered in the same inning and the Twins defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-6 on Tuesday night.
The Twins won for the eighth time in nine games despite blowing two leads and getting a dismal start from Jeff Manship.
Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Jason Kubel added a solo shot for the Twins, who stayed within 2½ games of Detroit in the AL Central.
"I've been fortunate to play in a lot of these games over the past eight years and it never gets old. It's always fun and there's always something new when you come to the park no matter how many times you've been in it," Cuddyer said. "I haven't put any more pressure on myself or anything like that. I feel like collectively we all needed to step up -- not just one particular person or two or three people.
We all did and thus far we have. We've been able to figure out ways to win the game."
Cuddyer finished 3 for 4 and a triple short of the cycle, while Joe Mauer had an RBI double in Ron Gardenhire's 700th win as manager.
"I've been blessed and lucky enough to have an opportunity to manage in the major leagues for 700 wins. That's really special," Gardenhire said. "Myself and my coaching staff, they've done a lot of work. My coaches work their tails off and I tip my hat to them. As a manager, you get credit with 700 wins, but it's a coaching staff here that has done it and a lot of very good players out there. So, I'm very happy about that and very excited about that and very proud of that because it has been with the Minnesota Twins -- an organization that I really care about."
Jesse Crain (7-4) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory and Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 43rd save.
"I think it shows that I think a lot of our young guys are starting to deal with the pressures of the pennant race," Nathan said. "I think you're starting to see guys just go out and play baseball. Like I said, we're not worried what happens on the other field. We've got to take care of business here. Guys are really focused."
Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer and Alex Rios and Paul Konerko added solo shots for the White Sox, who have lost six of seven.
After the game, White Sox closer Bobby Jenks said he is done for the season after his right calf muscle popped while warming up before the game. Jenks, strained his right calf in Seattle last week and he said he wouldn't be able to pitch for another two weeks.
"We were trying to sneak it under the radar. During the stretch and warmups I went a little overboard and I pulled it today," he said. "I heard it, felt it (pop). It's unfortunate with the way our team's been going."
Jenks has 29 saves in 35 chances.
Cuddyer put the Twins up for good with his 29th homer off White Sox starter John Danks in the sixth. With two outs, Tolbert hit his second homer of the season after his ball bounced off the top of the left-field wall and went over to put the Twins up 7-5.
Cuddyer is 16 for 30 with five home runs against Danks in his career.
"I think we should just walk him every time he comes up. I'm at a loss for words," Danks said. "For whatever reason, those guys got something on me or I just threw up cookies."
Danks (12-10) allowed seven runs and eight hits in six innings. He matched his season-high with eight runs allowed and has not won a start since Aug. 27, at Boston.
The Twins scored three runs in the first. Danks walked Carlos Gomez, then gave up a home run to Cabrera. Kubel doubled and scored on Delmon Young's sacrifice fly.
Trailing 3-1 in the third, Rios homered for the second time since being claimed off waivers from Toronto on Aug. 10. After a single by Scott Podsednik, Beckham hit a two-run shot to put the White Sox ahead 4-3.
Despite the early 3-0 lead, Manship was only able to give the Twins 2 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and five hits.
NOTES: Twins CF Denard Span was held out of the lineup after getting hit in the helmet with a pitch Monday night. ... Struggling White Sox RF Jermaine Dye had the night off. He is 12 for 93 in his last 26 games. ... Konerko hit his 28th homer in the eighth.