Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Joe Mauer’s three-run homer started a string of three consecutive three-run innings, and the Minnesota Twins routed the Chicago White Sox, 9-3, to take command of the AL Central.
Mauer went 3-for-4 and scored twice for the Twins, who have won 11 of 13 in September to take a stranglehold on the division. With 17 games left, Minnesota’s magic number to clinch is down to 10, as it has an eight-game lead over Chicago.
The Twins have dominated the White Sox in the season series, 12-5, including nine of the last 11. They’ve also won 10 of their last 12 games at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jim Thome added two hits and two RBI, while Denard Span, Danny Valencia and J.J. Hardy each finished with two hits and an RBI. Brian Duensing (9-2) yielded just two runs on nine hits and a walk in six frames to earn the win.
Carlos Quentin hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who have lost six of eight. Gavin Floyd (10-13) fell to 0-4 with an 8.06 ERA against the Twins this year after allowing six runs, nine hits and two walks in 5 1/3 frames.