Cuddyer homers to help send White Sox to another Metrodome loss

MINNEAPOLIS -- Glen Perkins was frozen for several seconds, arms at his side as he stared at Paul Konerko's homer sailing into the seats before angrily returning his attention to the mound.

Losing the lead on a bad pitch gave Perkins even more motivation on a night when he started with plenty.

Michael Cuddyer's two-run homer in the sixth inning pushed Minnesota past Chicago 4-3 on Monday, pulling the Twins' record back to even and sending the White Sox to yet another defeat at the Metrodome.

Perkins (6-6), who gave up eight runs and got only three outs in his last start, said he was as mad as he's been all year after throwing a first-pitch fastball to Konerko right down the middle in the third.

"Maybe that's a little turning point for him," said manager Ron Gardenhire, who was upset last week when Perkins complained of shoulder soreness after the 16-1 loss at Oakland.

Speaking of angry, the White Sox -- who have dropped 12 of their last 14 games at Minnesota's soon-to-be-vacated dome -- were riled up at each other after a sloppy second inning during which the Twins scored twice on two singles and two errors.

A.J. Pierzynski was shown in the dugout shouting at shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who was ready to charge Chicago's fiery catcher but was held back by teammate Jermaine Dye. Manager Ozzie Guillen tossed a bucket of bubble gum, sending pieces scattering on the ground.

"It happened, it's over, and move on," Pierzynski said.

Guillen said he was angry about his team's performance, as well as the spat. The White Sox, who are two games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central, lost three of four to the Tigers last week.

"Things like that can't happen," he said. "I'm the one to put the fingers on the players, because this is my job, and anybody else got a problem with that, they know what to do."

John Danks (8-7) allowed two earned runs and six hits over seven innings after missing his last start due to a finger blister, but he was frustrated too.

The White Sox entered with the league's third-worst fielding percentage, and they made two of their three errors in the costly second inning. Carlos Gomez knocked over second baseman Jayson Nix with a hard takeout slide to stop a double play, causing Nix's errant relay throw to elude first baseman Konerko while one run came home. Then Konerko let a low throw by Danks sail under his glove for another error, letting the Twins score again while Danks barked at himself in disgust.

"That's a play that needs to be made 100 percent of the time, and it wasn't," Danks said. "I made a crappy throw, and it cost us a run. We lost by one, and so that's something that definitely needs to get ironed out."

This was a critical start for Perkins, on a day when the Twins learned right-hander Kevin Slowey needs season-ending surgery on his wrist and in a stretch when the starters have too often failed to go deep into games and hold the leads. For Perkins, though, the most important matter was the White Sox. The Twins pulled within three games of Detroit.

"Those are games you have to win. There's no other way to say it," Perkins said.

Nathan needed only six pitches for his 27th save in the ninth, but he had help: Denard Span made a sprawling, twisting catch at the wall in left to retire Carlos Quentin for the second out.

Gomez's takeout slide of Nix, though, really got the Twins going.

"If we get back to doing that, we're going to be a pretty dangerous team," Cuddyer said, adding: "Home runs are great and obviously they're exciting and they help you win, but what we're accustomed to and what we normally do is put pressure on the defense."

Game notes
Twins 3B Joe Crede, who missed seven of 10 games on the recent road trip because of an injured right shoulder, took some swings and made some throws and could be in Tuesday's lineup as the designated hitter. "He says he feels good, but the last time he felt really good we put him out there and he dove a couple of times and hurt himself," Gardenhire said. ... Though Quentin has yet to hit a homer in seven games since returning from the disabled list, Guillen said he's not concerned about the left fielder's power stroke. "Right now my biggest goal is to keep him healthy," Guillen said. ... The Twins have 112 homers this season, already one more than last year.