Twins edge series to move clear of White Sox

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The streaking Minnesota Twins moved into first place in the American League Central division with a 6-1 victory over rivals Chicago White Sox Thursday.

Minnesota starting pitcher Francisco Liriano tossed 5-2/3 innings in the win and Jason Kubel broke the game open with a three-run home run in the seventh inning to lift the Twins (65-50) past the White Sox (64-51) in the standings.

Chicago starter Gavin Floyd, who gave up a run in each of the first three innings, allowed all six runs and 10 hits over 6-2/3 innings.

"We have six more games with them, and a ton of baseball in between those six," Floyd told reporters. "Anything can happen."

The teams began their three-game series tied at the top of the division and split the first two, but the Twins captured the finale with their sixth win in eight contests.

Minnesota second baseman Orlando Hudson went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the first and Liriano won his fifth straight decision to improve to 11-7 on the year.

Liriano is enjoying his best season since undergoing major arm surgery in 2006 that setback his career.

The young left-hander exited in the sixth where Chicago had the bases loaded with two outs before Twins reliever Matt Guerrier got the final out of the inning.

For the game, the White Sox left 12 runners on base.

"Every inning it seemed like they were a hit away from getting a couple runs," Guerrier said. "It's definitely a stressful game."

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski went 3-for-4 and had the only RBI for the White Sox, who have dropped four of their last five games.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien; To query or comment on this story email