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updated: 7/9/2011 12:22 AM

Sox just can't solve Twins

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  • Perhaps Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is trying to figure out how his team hasn't found a way to beat the Twins this season. The Twinkies are 6-0 against the Sox this year.

    Perhaps Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is trying to figure out how his team hasn't found a way to beat the Twins this season. The Twinkies are 6-0 against the Sox this year.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

Even when they give up five runs in the first inning, the Minnesota Twins find a way to beat the Chicago White Sox.

They continued to dominate their AL Central foe Friday night, rallying for an 8-5 victory as Luke Hughes hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run fourth inning.

The Twins are 6-0 against the White Sox this season, have won nine straight in the series going back to last year and are 28-6 in the past 34 games between the two AL Central foes.

The White Sox scored five runs in the first, but starter Gavin Floyd couldn't hold the 5-1 lead and was driven out after 3 2-3 innings when Rene Tosoni hit a bases-loaded single to tie it.

Hughes greeted reliever Will Ohman with a long three-run homer to left, his third homer of the season, to put the Twins up 8-5. After starter Nick Blackburn gave up five in the first, he and four relievers shut out the White Sox the rest of the way.

The Twins, with five key players on the disabled list, are counting on players such as Tosoni and Hughes.

Floyd (6-9), winless in six starts since June 1, gave up nine hits and was charged with seven runs.

Blackburn (7-6) survived the five-run outburst. He gave up 10 hits, including Adam Dunn's two-run homer in the first.

Blackburn had also struggled mightily in his previous two starts, allowing 19 hits and 13 earned runs over 8 1-3 innings, but on Friday night Minnesota's offense helped him overcome the rough start.

Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 20 chances.

Dunn, in a 4-for-52 tailspin with 29 strikeouts over his previous 15 games, drove a 3-2 pitch from
Blackburn 412 feet into the right field bleachers to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Alexei Ramirez had singled with one out and scored on Paul Konerko's double.

After Dunn's blast, his ninth homer of the season, Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios followed with back-to-back doubles to push the lead to three runs. Gordon Beckham's RBI single completed the early outburst.

It didn't take long for the Twins to get to Floyd.

Joe Mauer, back behind the plate after playing first base for the first time in the majors Thursday night, doubled off the right-center field fence with two outs in the first and scored on Michael Cuddyer's RBI single.

Minnesota loaded the bases in the third as Floyd hit Cuddyer with a pitch following a bunt single by Alexi Casilla and opposite-field single by Mauer. Danny Valencia hit a sacrifice fly, and one out later, Hughes walked to reload the bases. White Sox third baseman Brent Morel then made a nice play on a hard shot off the bat of Tsuyoshi Nishioka and threw him out to end the inning.

Floyd hit Mauer to load the bases again in the fourth after singles by Matt Tolbert and Casilla. Cuddyer then delivered another RBI single, and one out later, Tosoni lined his two-run single to right to tie the game.

"Me and Rene are boys. I come up behind him to hit, so we pull for each other," Hughes said. "That was probably the key hit in the game right there. If Floyd gets out of it, it might be a different game. He came up and had a good at-bat and drove the ball."

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