MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target Field was a breath of fresh air for Bobby Jenks and the struggling Chicago White Sox offense.
The White Sox put together their biggest inning of the season in the fifth and Jenks rebounded for the save in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez had two-run doubles in a five-run, seven-hit fifth inning for a team that entered the night with the worst batting average in the American League. Freddy Garcia (2-2) gave up two runs on nine hits in seven innings for the win.
Joe Mauer had three hits and Justin Morneau homered for the Twins. But Kevin Slowey (4-3) gave up five runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against Chicago's anemic bats.
Juan Pierre had three hits, including his first extra-base hit of the year with a double in the ninth and Jenks picked up his sixth save in seven tries after being told earlier in the day he was no longer the full-time closer.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he would go with matchups, with Jenks, who blew a two-run lead on Sunday against Toronto, J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos and lefty Matt Thornton all options.
He went back to Jenks, who gave up a one-out double to Jim Thome, prompting a visit from Guillen.
Jenks bounced a curveball about 5 feet in front of home plate against Nick Punto, but came back to strike him out on the next pitch before getting Denard Span to ground out to finish the game.
No team was happier to see the Twins leave the Metrodome than Guillen's White Sox. The outspoken manager never passed up an opportunity to slam the dingy, cramped old stadium, partially because of its stale atmosphere and quirky bounces and partially because his team always seemed to lose there. The White Sox lost 16 of their final 19 games indoors.
"No matter what kind of ballpark they built, it was going to be better than that one," Guillen said before the game.
The Twins got on the board first in the fourth inning when Young hit a double down the right-field line to score Mauer. But the potential for a bigger inning was squashed when third-base coach Scott Ullger tried to wave DH Jason Kubel all the way from first base home on the play and he was thrown out at home by 10 feet.
The White Sox responded in a way their offense had not done this season. Chicago entered the game last in the AL in batting average (.228) and 10th with a .316 on-base percentage.
The Sox set season highs in hits and runs in the inning, which also included an RBI-single from Alex Rios, who had two hits in the inning.
NOTES: Rios extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fifth. ... Twins RHP Alex Burnett pitched well in relief of Slowey, allowing two hits in three scoreless innings. ... White Sox radio analyst Darrin Jackson is missing the series to tend to a family matter. Pre- and postgame host Chris Rongey filled in on WSCR alongside play-by-play man Ed Farmer.