Crede hits pair of three-run HRs to keep White Sox rolling

CHICAGO (AP) -- Joe Crede listened to a simple batting tip and suddenly he seems to have it all figured out at the plate.

The White Sox's talented third baseman hit two homers for the second straight game Saturday night, driving in six runs and leading his surging team to its fifth straight win, 11-2 over the Minnesota Twins.

During a session in the batting cage, hitting coach Greg Walker told Crede to separate his hands from his body. And the advice just made sense.

"You go with it," Crede said. "I was definitely in a slump in May and you're searching for different things and different batting stances and Walk came to me just in the cage and says one simple thing. And it's been able to help me change my hitting stance and hitting outlook all together."

Crede, who went 4-for-4 with two solo homers Friday night, had a pair of three-run homers as the White Sox moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Twins in the AL Central.

Crede, who underwent back surgery last June and only played 47 games a year ago, has five homers and 10 RBIs in his last three games.

All this after he had to leave Wednesday night's game with a bruised right wrist and sit out Thursday's game with the same injury.

"The way Joe Crede is swinging it right now. Geesh. Like the man can do no wrong," said Nick Swisher, who had three of the White Sox's 16 hits, the second straight night Chicago reached that number.

The White Sox have homered 14 times during their five-game winning streak, which began after manager Ozzie Guillen went on a tirade last Sunday because of the team's struggling offense.

"The baseball gods can get you when all of a sudden you get cocky," Guillen said. "We're playing good right now and swinging the bats the way we thought we were going to swing them."

Crede connected in the second inning against Livan Hernandez to make it 4-0. He hit another three-run shot off Boof Bonser, his 14th of the season.

"Every time we make mistakes right now, the ball goes flying," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

"It's just not going our way right now. Crede is a good hitter, he gets on these rolls. We're trying to make good pitches, but we're just not making enough of them."

Mark Buehrle (3-6) pitched eight innings to get his first win in three weeks in a matchup of the two biggest workhorses in the major leagues since 2001. Hernandez (6-3), who lasted just four innings against Chicago, has pitched 1,684 innings in that span and Buehrle 1,658 1/3 innings.

The Chicago left-hander allowed a run and seven hits, including Delmon Young's two-out solo homer in the seventh. He earned his first win since beating the Giants on May 17.

After the game was delayed by rain for 33 minutes in the bottom of the first, Hernandez needed just one pitch to retire the side after play was resumed. But he ran into trouble the next inning after a costly misplay.

Twins center fielder Carlos Gomez misread Paul Konerko's leadoff liner, and the ball got behind him. The slow-running Konerko made it to third for his first triple since May 16, 2000, and scored on Jim Thome's sacrifice fly.

Jermaine Dye singled and Swisher doubled before Crede hit a drive to left to make it 4-0.

Dye walked and Swisher singled in the fourth before Alexei Ramirez, who also had three hits, delivered a two-out RBI single. Orlando Cabrera followed with a two-run double to make it 7-0.

Hernandez, who earned a complete-game win against the White Sox last month at U.S. Cellular Field, left after giving up seven runs and eight hits. It marked the fourth straight start he's been hit hard. He had given up 36 hits and 16 earned runs in his three previous outings.

"Right now I'm really struggling and I can't do nothing," Hernandez said.

"The only thing you can do is work and work and I got to go be better. I know that."

Game notes
It was the sixth triple of Konerko's major league career that began in 1997. ... Twins C Joe Mauer, who is batting .335, got the night off. ... The White Sox have homered 14 times during their five-game winning streak. Crede is the first White Sox player to have back-to-back multihomer games since Greg Norton in 1999 against Detroit.