American League Game Summary - Chicago at Minnesota
(Tuesday, July 31st)
Final Score: Chicago 4, Minnesota 3
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - A.J. Pierzynski's two-run home run in the ninth inning snapped a tie and sent Chicago past Minnesota, 4-3, in the second of three between the clubs.
Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo drove in a run each for the White Sox, who shook off a loss in Monday's series opener and won for the sixth time in their last eight.
Matt Thornton (3-6) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win. Making his first start against his old club since being dealt to Chicago on Saturday, Francisco Liriano allowed four hits and two runs, fanning eight with four walks, over six innings.
"He pitched great," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's doing what we got him to do. He came out and pitched well even though the circumstances were probably a little bit odd for him to go out in our uniform and pitch here."
Denard Span finished with four hits and knocked in a run for the Twins, whose four-game win streak came to a halt.
"His slider is real good. The slider coming out of his hands looks like a fastball. It's hard to lay off," Span said of facing his former teammate. "I got lucky twice and found two hits. It definitely looks different in the box."
Jeff Gray (5-1) served up the deciding blast, wasting a strong effort by starter Nick Blackburn.
Blackburn exited in a 2-2 tie after eight, having surrendered five hits. Gray immediately allowed a leadoff hit to Alex Rios and the go-ahead homer to Chicago's veteran backstop.
Addison Reed had trouble of his own in the ninth, giving up an RBI hit to Span with one out. He recovered to earn his 17th save by fanning Darin Mastroianni and inducing a game-ending groundout from Joe Mauer.
Rios doubled with one out in the Chicago second, moved up on a Pierzynski hit and scored when Viciedo lofted a fly to right.
Minnesota came back with two in the sixth on Justin Morneau's RBI fielder's choice grounder and Danny Valencia's single, but the ChiSox tied the score in the next at-bat as Pierzynski was hit with one out and later scored on a Ramirez base hit.
Liriano became the first White Sox starter to make his debut the same season against the club he was acquired from since Marino Pieretti on June 19, 1948, against Washington...Chicago has taken eight of the 11 meetings thus far, including three of five at Target Field...Prior to the game, the White Sox revealed that pitcher John Danks will undergo season-ending left shoulder surgery that is expected to be performed on Monday...Pierzynski's homer was his 18th of the season, tying his career high first set in 2005.
08/01 00:41:03 ET