Twins move into first in AL Central

Published 8:48 am Friday, August 13, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) — The Minnesota Twins will leave Chicago in first place in the American League Central.

Jason Kubel hit a three-run home run and Francisco Liriano pitched in and out of trouble to help the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1 and take over the top spot in the division on Thursday night.

Orlando Hudson also added a solo homer for the Twins, who took two of three games from their division rivals to move one game ahead. The Twins also finished a 10-game road trip with a 6-4 record.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s a battle,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I don’t expect it any other way. This is the way it’s supposed to be with these two teams. You’re sitting in the dugout trying to figure out what you have to do next and they’re doing the same thing. It’s two good teams getting after each other and that’s why we’re right at the top of our division and we’ll hopefully remain there right until the end and we’ll see what happens.”

The White Sox lost their first series at U.S. Cellular Field since the Indians took two out of three game there on June 4-6.

Liriano (11-7) allowed one run and pitched around seven hits with four strikeouts. He pitched his best when he was in several jams.

The White Sox loaded the bases with no outs for the middle of their order in the fifth, but Liriano still escaped unscathed. Alex Rios hit a comebacker to the pitcher, who threw to Joe Mauer at the plate for the force. Liriano then struck out Paul Konerko on three pitches and finished off the inning by getting Carlos Quentin swinging.

“I felt pretty good. I felt strong. I was hitting my spot on the slider today, especially in the fifth inning. I wanted to make sure it was down,” said Liriano. “I was making some good pitches when I need to. I got myself in trouble and just told myself to calm down and take it one hitter at a time.”