Cole De Vries wasn't sure what was in store for him. Turns out, it was a harsh welcome to the major leagues.
Paul Konerko and Alex Rios hit back-to-back homers and Alejandro De Aza added a grand slam to cap a six-run sixth inning, leading the Chicago White Sox to an 11-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
"I was pretty good in the bullpen," De Vries said. "I got out there and it was like someone flipped the light switch and the butterflies started going a little bit. After that, it dropped, then went back up. It was a rollercoaster night."
The Twins got a homer from Joe Mauer and two later in the game from Justin Morneau, but it was simply a rough debut for De Vries (0-1). The 27-year-old right-hander, who grew up near Minneapolis and played for the University of Minnesota, gave up six runs — three earned — and six hits in five-plus innings.
"He was spinning the ball pretty good," said manager Ron Gardenhire, who made it clear De Vries will get another start. "He threw some great breaking balls. We like what we saw. Tonight, this is just a tough ballpark. You get the ball up, it goes."
A.J. Pierzynski hit a solo homer in the second. Dayan Viciedo connected leading off the eighth against Jared Burton, and the White Sox went deep five times on the way to their sixth win in seven games.
Konerko had two hits and drove in two runs. Rios had two hits and knocked in three, and Chicago pulled this one out even though Philip Humber couldn't protect an early 4-1 lead.
The Twins knocked him out during a four-run fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate. Mauer homered in the inning and Brian Dozier capped the rally with a two-run single to give Minnesota a 5-4 lead.
Konerko and Rios chased De Vries with homers to left leading off the sixth, putting Chicago back on top, and the White Sox kept pouring it on from there.
They loaded the bases with one out against Brian Duensing before De Aza, who had an earlier homer wiped out by instant replay, drove a 1-0 pitch over the bullpen in right field to make it 10-5. The grand slam was the first of his career and the first by the White Sox since Rios hit one against Cleveland on Sept. 10, 2011.
"I was trying to get a fly ball because it was bases loaded," De Aza said. "And the fly ball got big, you know."
The rally made a winner of Nate Jones (2-0), who allowed two hits over 1 2-3 innings. He came in for Humber in the fifth and immediately gave up the two-run single to Dozier, but the White Sox came out on top, anyway.
Humber still hasn't won since his perfect game against Seattle on April 21 and the right-hander is 0-2 in his last six starts after allowing five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
"I haven't felt like I've really been in sync probably for a while now," he said.
Humber said he's not finishing his pitches. But the question is: Why?
"I've got to figure out what's going on," he said. "There's a lot of feel that goes on as a pitcher."
Notes: Morneau hit a leadoff homer against Will Ohman in the seventh and a two-run drive against Addison Reed in the ninth. ... Throwing off the mound and from the stretch, Snoop Dogg delivered the first pitch. The rapper was in the area for a concert. ... The Twins held Ryan Doumit (right calf) out of the lineup so Mauer could serve as the DH. Doumit is not ready to play the field yet. "He felt it a little bit last night, he's been legging out some doubles," Gardenhire said. "I told him to take it easy, but you always know once you get playing in a game and you see something, you're going to go for it. He was a little bit stiffer last night after the game. I backed him off today." Gardenhire said he wants to see Doumit catch some bullpen sessions and run the bases before using him in the field.