Ryan Doumit's two-run double helps lift Twins over White Sox
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Another big hit from Ryan Doumit turned what could've been an ugly loss into a win for the Minnesota Twins.
Doumit hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning, leading the Twins over the Chicago White Sox 7-5 on Tuesday night.
After making baserunning mistakes, errors and throwing wild pitches while blowing the lead, Doumit's hit was very much needed.
"It's nice to be the guy who came up with the big hit," said Doumit, who also has delivered clutch hits in wins over Seattle and Washington this month. "It's a nice little streak that I'm on, there's no doubt. I don't take anything for granted. Hopefully I can keep it going."
The White Sox came back to tie it at 5 in the eighth when Alex Rios worked a leadoff walk from reliever Jared Burton (1-4), stole second and scored on Paul Konerko's single that bounced off the pitcher's mound and into center field.
Clete Thomas walked with two outs in the eighth against Ramon Troncoso (0-2). Mauer followed with a single -- his third hit of the game -- and Doumit drove a double to left center that gave the Twins the lead.
"They had a mishap or two out there on the bases as well, a couple of wild pitches that let us get some people in scoring position," Konerko said. "When you break it all down it was just the one hit there at the end that did it. Everything was even probably besides that. That was it right there."
The double was Doumit's third hit of the game.
Glen Perkins pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
Konerko had four hits for Chicago, which has lost five of six and 13 of its last 15 on the road, and Conor Gillaspie had a two-run homer in the second off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey.
With the White Sox in last place and struggling to score runs, questions are being asked about trading veterans and rebuilding the team. Konerko says, not so fast.
"I still think there's some good to come out of this at some point," Konerko said. "It hasn't been right now, it hasn't been before now, but we still have good baseball in us. We just haven't shown it."
Coming off elbow surgery that wrecked his 2012 season, Pelfrey pitched into the seventh inning for his third start in a row. He gave up four runs on 10 hits and left with runners on first and third with nobody out in the seventh.
"It stinks that I got spotted a four-run lead and slowly gave that back," Pelfrey said. "Luckily, Doumit came up with a huge hit. Offense is always welcome."
Pedro Florimon added an RBI single for the Twins.
Axelrod was pitching on seven days rest after giving up six runs in his previous start. After a rough beginning on Tuesday, he settled down and retired 11 of 12 batters at one point and surrendered five runs -- four earned -- in six innings.
"Just kind of changed my approach. Threw a few more fastballs after the first inning" Axelrod said. "It was almost like they were kind of diving on me. Just changed it up and it worked out well. It's unfortunate what happened in the first."
Konerko's four-hit game was his first since July 24 of last season and raised his batting average to .248.
Mauer's homer barely cleared the left-field wall and was his first with runners on base since Sept. 1 of last season.
The Twins had lost seven of their past 11 heading into Tuesday and were averaging fewer than three runs during the stretch.
"We kind of went silent after the first," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We just kind of hung on from there. Coming up late there is huge."
Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks is running in the outfield and making progress rehabbing from a strained left hamstring. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Hicks -- on the disabled list since June 10 -- will probably have to complete a rehab assignment before returning to the Twins. ... Josh Willingham was back in left field for the Twins after missing two games because of a sore knee.© The Associated Press