Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Twins 3

September, 15, 2012
9/15/12
3:08
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A quick look at the Chicago White Sox's 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday at Target Field.

How it happened: Francisco Liriano dominated the Twins before losing his bid for a no-hitter in the seventh inning on Trevor Plouffe's two-run homer. He struck out nine in his seven innings pitched. The White Sox staked Liriano to some early runs, with Paul Konerko driving in the first three with an RBI groundout in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third. Konerko’s 23rd home run came with Adam Dunn on base. Dunn, playing his first game in over a week, singled and walked in his first two at-bats. Gordon Beckham singled home Dayan Viciedo with the Sox’s fourth run in the fourth inning off Twins starter Samuel Deduno, who left the game in the fifth. Liriano, who had been removed from the rotation due to ineffectiveness a week ago, threw a no-hitter against the White Sox as a member of the Twins on May 3, 2011 at U.S Cellular Field. The Twins made it interesting in the ninth, scoring once off Addison Reed, but Matt Thornton came on to record the save.

What it means: Dunn’s return to the lineup gave the Sox a needed offensive boost as he finished with two hits and a walk. Liriano threw himself back into the rotation mix, which seems to change on a daily basis. A six-man mix of starters will be the job of Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper to figure out for the last 18 games of the season. The Sox increased their AL Central lead to 1.5 games over the Detroit Tigers, who began play against the Cleveland Indians after the Sox game was complete. The win was the 78th for the Sox, who won 79 games total in 2011.

Outside the box: Trainer Herm Schneider advised Ventura to use Dunn at first base in order to keep his sore right oblique loose during his first game in over a week.

Up next: The Sox will send Jake Peavy (10-11, 3.27 ERA) against the Twins’ Scott Diamond (11-7, 3.46) in the finale of this three-game series Sunday.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208