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Updated: August 17th, 2010 10:27pm
Thome's blast gives Twins a dramatic 7-6 win over White Sox

Thome's blast gives Twins a dramatic 7-6 win over White Sox

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With his team trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning, former White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome hit a 445-foot moonshot deep into the night, giving the Minnesota Twins a 7-6 victory.

The Twins appeared destined for a win earlier when closer Matt Capps came in for the top of the ninth with a 5-4 lead, but Alexei Ramirez instantly greeted him with a solo blast to left field, tying the game 5-5. Capps went on to load the bases with one out, but induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play with help from a tough scoop by Michael Cuddyer at first base.

The White Sox then took the lead, 6-5 in the 10th when Ramirez slapped a groundball base hit up the middle off Jon Rauch, just past the diving glove of shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Then came Thome's game-winner -- the 12th of his career, which ties a major-league record.

The Twins jumped all over White Sox starter John Danks in the first inning, starting with a solo home run by Orlando Hudson. Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer followed with back-to-back singles, and Jason Kubel drove them home with a triple off the right field wall. Jim Thome then singled home Kubel to put the Twins up 4-0.

Scott Baker was unable to hold that lead, however, allowing a solo home run to Paul Konerko and a two-run shot to Mark Kotsay in the second inning. A.J. Pierzynski provided an RBI double in the fourth inning to tie the game 4-4.

Baker eventually loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning before being pulled from the game for Glen Perkins, who retired Kotsay to end the threat.

Baker, who still hasn't thrown back-to-back quality starts since May 8, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out three, allowed two home runs and threw 91 pitches.

Delmon Young snapped out of his August slumber with a line-drive blast off the facing of the second deck in the fifth inning, putting the Twins up 5-4 at the time.

Things got a little chippy with two outs and runners in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth inning. Chicago reliever Sergio Santos threw a fastball up and in on Hardy, then when Hardy hit a bouncer to second shortly after, Young delivered a blow to the facemask of Pierzynski. Young was tagged out at the plate on the play.

The blown save by Capps was his second as a Twin.

The Twins improved to 9-4 against the White Sox on the season.

The only hitter in either starting lineup to go without a hit was Hardy (0-for-3), who did draw a walk.

LHP Francisco Liriano (11-7, 3.26) is scheduled to face RHP Gavin Floyd (8-9, 3.70) on Wednesday night.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd