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Updated: May 11th, 2010 11:32pm
Pelissero: Getting the laugh last could kickstart Pierre, White Sox

Pelissero: Getting the laugh last could kickstart Pierre, White Sox

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by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- The war of words between Orlando Hudson and Juan Pierre couldn't have turned out to be less juicy.

TV cameras caught the two yapping on several occasions during the Chicago White Sox's 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night -- including what looked like a heated exchange at second base after a double play ended the top of the first inning.

Turns out Hudson bought lunch for his old Dodgers teammate earlier in the day and wanted to get his money's worth.

"He was like, 'You see how quick that turn was? You see how quick that turn was?'" Pierre said, getting the last laugh in the Chicago clubhouse after the game.

"I mean, get out of here with that. ... I didn't pay him no attention to him when I played with him, so I'm definitely not going to pay attention to him now."

Good on Hudson for picking up the check for the welcome meal. But the Twins could have stood to do their American League Central rivals fewer favors once the teams took the field.

A suggestion to O-Dog and friends for Wednesday afternoon:

Don't wake up the White Sox.

Not now.

Yeah, this is just a two-game set in May, and Chicago (14-19) looks every bit like a .500 ballclub (or worse) so far. But a quick sweep would provide the sort of momentum the White Sox have scuffled to gather through five disappointing weeks.

"Without a doubt," said Pierre, who went 3-for-5 after entering as of one of six players in the White Sox lineup hitting .230 or worse.

"Teams of their caliber in our division and in their home park -- hopefully, we're not satisfied with today's win. We've got to be looking forward to (Wednesday). It's only two games, but anytime you can pick up two games right off the bat, it's great.

"Hopefully, we get a little greedy. We'll take the wins any way we can get 'em."

Tuesday's came courtesy of a fifth-inning meltdown by Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey, who appeared to be in control before the White Sox knocked him out with five consecutive two-out hits.

"I was unable to slow them down and make that one good pitch," Slowey said. "I kind of pressed harder as opposed to stepping back and just realizing that one good pitch would have gotten me out of the inning."

Slowey can't blame a long bottom of the fourth for freezing him up, even on a night the game-time temperature was 45 degrees. Third-base coach Scott Ullger's propensity for turning the Twins' clodhoppers into dead men running got Slowey back on the mound posthaste.

How many guys -- J.J. Hardy in Chicago, Justin Morneau against Cleveland and Jason Kubel on Delmon Young's double into the corner on Tuesday -- must get mowed by 30 feet before Ullger realizes taking a shot with two outs isn't worth it if the cut-off man already has the ball?

It's as senseless as the thousands of lusty boos for White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who apparently bears fault for getting traded to San Francisco almost a decade ago and having the audacity to resurface in the same division.

Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen quickly proclaimed via Twitter that Target Field is the best stadium in the AL -- and that might have something to do with the blasts by Morneau and Jim Thome that failed to get over the center-field wall in the late innings.

"The ball Morneau hit," Guillen said, "that was like 230 rows up in the old park."

But the Metrodome -- where the White Sox were 24-32 under Guillen -- is a distant memory now, and Chicago is 1-0 in the Twins' new home.

The White Sox will send their hottest pitcher, left-hander John Danks, to the mound on Wednesday against righty Carl Pavano, who needs to give the Twins some quality innings after Slowey's malfunction forced manager Ron Gardenhire to burn four relievers.

And the Twins offense -- which at least partly justified Ullger's itchy trigger arm Tuesday by fanning three times with runners on and two outs -- needs to do enough damage that neither words nor wobbly pitching can help the White Sox leave town with a jump start.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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