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Freddy Garcia Lasts Only 2 1/3 Innings

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Michael Cuddyer finished 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and drove in four as Minnesota moved into first place in the AL Central by bashing the Chicago White Sox, 12-6, in the first of three between the clubs at U.S. Cellular Field.

Joe Mauer had three hits including a two-run shot and posted three RBI for the Twins, who have won three in a row and five of six and lead the division by one game over the White Sox.

Jason Kubel hit a two-run homer and scored four times, while Jim Thome and J.J. Hardy hit solo homers for Minnesota, which tallied in each of the first four innings.

Scott Baker (10-9) allowed eight hits and five runs — four earned — over six innings for the win.

Carlos Quentin slugged a three-run home run and knocked in four for the White Sox, who have dropped three in a row and four of five. Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez each had two hits and an RBI in the setback.

Freddy Garcia (10-5) was shelled in defeat for eight hits and six runs, lasting just 2 1/3 innings.

Mauer’s RBI double in the first gave the Twins an early lead, then two solo homers — from Thome and Hardy — with a two-run shot by Mauer gave the Twins a 5-0 edge in the second.

The Sox came back in the home second on Quentin’s three-run homer, but Danny Valencia’s third-inning sacrifice fly put Minnesota up 6-3.

Cuddyer’s two-run double boosted the visitors to an 8-3 lead in the fourth, and Cuddyer’s two-run homer in the sixth put the Twins into double digits.

Konerko’s RBI single and a sac fly from Ramirez made it 10-5 in the home sixth, but in the eighth Mauer singled with one out and Kubel brought him in with a two-run blast.

Quentin’s run-scoring groundout in the ninth was all the comeback the ChiSox could muster.

Minnesota has taken seven of 10 meetings with the Pale Hose this year, including three of four on Chicago’s south side…The White Sox held second baseman Gordon Beckham out of the game as a precaution due to a lingering groin injury…Sox outfielder Juan Pierre’s 16-game hit streak came to an end after an 0-for-3 performance.