CHICAGO (AP) -- Juan Uribe made sure his family's trip from the
Dominican Republic was a memorable one.
With his parents and wife in the stands, Uribe hit his first
career grand slam Tuesday night, a pinch-hit shot in the seventh
inning that sent the Chicago White Sox to an 8-6 victory over the
Minnesota Twins.Paul Konerko also homered, joining Albert Belle and Frank Thomas
as the only White Sox players to hit 40 or more home runs in a
season."I've got a lot of happiness," Uribe said, still grinning
after the game. "I'm happy my family got a chance to see me."Ross Gload and Aaron Rowand also drove in runs for the White
Sox, who snapped a seven-game losing streak against the AL
Central-champion Twins.Now that the Twins have clinched the division, manager Ron
Gardenhire is trying to get his regulars occasional nights off.
Torii Hunter and Shannon Stewart were on the bench Tuesday, but the
Minnesota backups showed they've got some game, too.Jason Kubel hit his first major league homer and went 3-for-4
with three runs, Michael Restovich hit a two-run shot and Jason
Bartlett drove in a run with his first major league hit.But it wasn't enough because the Twins' bullpen couldn't hold
the lead in the seventh inning.After Ben Davis reached on an error by second baseman Luis
Rivas, J.C. Romero (7-2) struck out Joe Borchard for the second
out. But he walked Joe Crede and Wilson Valdez to load the bases.Uribe came in to pinch-hit and Jesse Crain relieved. Crain had
allowed a run in only one of his previous 11 appearances, but Uribe
drove a 3-1 pitch into the left-field stands for the grand slam.It also was his 20th homer of the season, double his previous
career high. Uribe wore a big smile as he rounded the bases, and
White Sox fans gave him a standing ovation."I'm happy the White Sox gave me a chance," said Uribe, who
was traded to Chicago in the offseason after an inconsistent stint
in Colorado.Neal Cotts (3-3) struck out two in one inning for the win.
Shingo Takatsu pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances."It's important to keep winning baseball games," Gardenhire
said. "We ran a good lineup out there and we scored plenty of
runs. We just didn't pitch good enough tonight."With Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas out, Konerko has carried
Chicago's offense all year. His solo homer in the first inning was
his 40th of the season, and put him in rare company in Chicago's
offensive history.Belle and Thomas (1993, 1995-96, 2000, 2003) are the only other
White Sox to hit 40 or more homers, with Belle setting the
franchise record with 49 in 1998."I look at it like when I went to the All-Star game. No matter
what happens after, I'll always have it," Konerko said. "But it's
kind of empty a little bit because it doesn't matter with what's
going on. I'm happy with the season that I've had, but I'll be more
happy when I can match a season like this up with a team that is
going to the playoffs."The Twins eliminated the White Sox from postseason contention
when they clinched the division Monday night.Kubel broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer off Jon Garland in
the sixth. It was the first career homer for the promising rookie,
who hit .377 at Double-A and .343 at Triple-A before being called
up on Aug. 31."It felt good, but it doesn't mean anything unless we win,"
Kubel said. "So it could have been better."
Uribe's homer was Chicago's fourth by a pinch-hitter this
year. It was the team's first pinch-hit grand slam since Joe De Sa
did it on Sept. 12, 1985. ... Uribe's slam also was Chicago's 133rd
homer at home this season, a franchise record. ... Twins starter
Kyle Lohse tied a season high with six walks.