Minneapolis, MN – Justin Morneau went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and four RBI and Aaron Hicks added a pair of solo homers and scored three times as the Minnesota Twins cruised to a 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a three-game set at Target Field.
Trevor Plouffe added two RBI, while Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit finished with one RBI apiece for the Twins, winners in five of their last seven games.
"I have confidence in our guys to hit the baseball. We still have a couple guys that aren't all the way there yet, but it was a pick-us-up kind of night for a lot of guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Pedro Hernandez (2-0) gave up three runs on six hits while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win.
Alex Rios doubled and drove in a pair and Dayan Viciedo knocked in a run for the White Sox, who went a dreadful 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Hector Santiago (1-2) surrendered six runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames to absorb the loss.
"I had a few pitches that could have been a little better, and I left some pitches in the zone. It was one of those games. You try to make pitches and get out of stuff, it just goes the opposite way," Santiago said.
Chicago has dropped three of its last four games.
The White Sox scored a pair of runs in the first inning. Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez opened the game with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. Rios followed with a double off the wall in left field to score De Aza. Viciedo then lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center field, scoring Ramirez without a throw.
Minnesota scored four runs in the third and never looked back. With the bases loaded and one out, Morneau laced a grounder to Ramirez to the left side of second base. Ramirez took two steps to his left to field what appeared to be a tailor-made double play, but couldn't field the ball cleanly, allowing Pedro Florimon to score. A Doumit sacrifice fly, followed by Plouffe's two-run double gave the hosts a two-run edge.
Hicks opened the fourth inning with a homer to center to put the Twins on top 5-2.
The White Sox added a run in the sixth inning. With runners on second and third, Rios grounded out to second, but it was enough to score De Aza.
Hicks, though, added his second homer of the day in the sixth to give Minnesota a 6-3 lead.
The Twins added four runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Willingham drew a bases-loaded walk and Morneau followed with a bases-clearing double to center field to cap the scoring.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer finished the game 1-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored to extend his hit streak to 12 games ... The Twins went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position ... Minnesota is 3-0 against the White Sox this season and holds a 423-383-3 lead in the all-time series ... Chicago is 7-12 on the road this season.