Twins’ bullpen shaky in loss to Chisox

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CHICAGO — Minnesota’s bullpen, so good with 5 1-3 innings of shutout ball one night earlier, got smacked around. And the Twins wasted a solid effort by starter Cole De Vries in an 11-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

De Vries left with a 4-2 lead after pitching six innings and giving up just one earned run. But the White Sox rallied for four runs in the seventh Tuesday night and then tacked on five more in the eighth.

“A really good game until about the seventh inning, and they kind of ambushed us. We didn’t make any pitches. They put some in the seats,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said..

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“We didn’t throw it over. We get ahead in the count and couldn’t put a hitter away. … . They were swinging away, just absolutely killed us for two big innings, that nine spot in a game we were handling pretty good up to that point.”

Josh Willingham hit two homers for the Twins. But Adam Dunn hit his major league-leading 30th to tie the game for Chicago in the seventh and Alexei Ramirez added a two-run shot in the eighth when Dunn also had a two-run double.

“The bullpen just had a little trouble tonight. They’ve been pitching great throughout the season. Tonight, just weren’t able to put together a complete game,” De Vries said.

Nate Jones (4-0), who relieved Chicago starter Jose Quintana in the seventh, got the win.

Willingham’s three-run homer following singles by Denard Span and Joe Mauer put the Twins ahead 4-2 in the sixth against Quintana. Willingham also had a solo shot in the fourth.

De Vries made his major league debut against the White Sox on May 24 when he gave up six hits and six runs — three earned — in five innings.  He was much more effective this time, giving up an unearned run in the first and a solo homer to Paul Konerko in the fifth.

“That Konerko one was real frustrating because when I was out there I felt like I made a pitch I wanted to,” De Vries said. “But he was sitting inside on that. He’s a good enough hitter where if he gets a pitch he’s looking for he’s probably going to do something like that.”

Dunn became the fourth-fastest White Sox player to reach 30 homers — based on games (96)  — and how has more homers this season than singles (29).

“I care about hitting the ball as hard as I can. If I do that and get a single, sometimes that’s OK. I’m not here to hit singles,” Dunn said.