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Article posted: 7/30/2012 10:47 PM

Sox start strong, but lose in 9th

White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski watches his three-run home run during Monday’s first inning in Minneapolis.

White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski watches his three-run home run during Monday's first inning in Minneapolis.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jamey Caroll's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning scored Alexi Casilla and the Minnesota Twins won their fourth straight, beating the White Sox 7-6 Monday night.

Denard Span had two hits and two spectacular catches in center field for the Twins, and Danny Valencia added three hits and two RBIs.

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A.J. Pierzynski homered in his first game after missing five with a strained oblique, and Alejandro De Aza returned from a wrist injury and matched a career high with four hits for the White Sox.

After Valencia led off the ninth with a single off reliever Brett Myers (0-1), Pierzynski's throw to first after fielding Brian Dozier's bunt sailed into right field, allowing each runner to move up.

Carroll followed with a fly ball to right, allowing Casilla to slide in with the winning run ahead of Alex Rios' throw.

De Aza's single in the eighth off reliever Jared Burton tied it 6-6 and was the first run scored on Burton since June 12.

The teams combined for nine hits and were tied 4-all after the first inning.

The Sox' big inning was highlighted by Pierzynski's three-run home run. Joe Mauer was one of four different Twins to drive in runs to tie it in the bottom half.

The Twins took a 6-4 lead in the third on an RBI single from Ryan Doumit and a sacrifice fly from Valencia.

With a runner on first and nobody out in the fifth, Rios drove a ball into the gap in left-center field. Span sprinted over, leaped against the wall, and took at least an extra base hit away from Rios.

Twins fans gave Span an extended standing ovation, eventually leading to the center fielder tipping his hat while still on the field.

Span earned another standing ovation after a diving catch to rob Pierzynski and end the seventh.

The Twins, who snapped a five-game skid against Chicago, lead the American League in scoring for July and have scored 96 runs in their last 14 home games.

Glen Perkins (2-1) pitched the ninth, striking out Pierzynski with Rios on first to end the inning. Pierzynski barked at home plate umpire Adrian Johnson on his way back to the dugout.

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