MINNEAPOLIS -- When the White Sox last played in Minnesota, it was in the midst of one of their worst stretches of the season, and the Twins swept them.
The Sox were looking for better in their second time around at Target Field this season, and they found it thanks in large part to a stellar outing from starter Hector Noesi. The 27-year-old right-hander pitched a season-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and walking one in a 5-2 victory over the Twins.
The only Twins hit through the first 7 1/3 innings came from third baseman Trevor Plouffe in the fourth. He knocked a shot to short left field that fell in front of a scrambling Alejandro De Aza. Hector Noesi gave up a single to Chris Parmelee and then a two-run home run to Danny Santana in the eighth inning before he was pulled from the game with a 5-2 lead.
Sox reliever Jake Petricka, a Minnesota native, pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
The Sox jumped to a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Adam Eaton doubled and scored on Alexei Ramirez's single off Twins pitcher Phil Hughes.
Hughes was knocked out of the game at the top of the fourth inning when Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn hit a single off Hughes' leg. Samuel Deduno entered in relief as Hughes walked gingerly to the dugout having allowed four hits and striking out four.
Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza each hit singles off Deduno to load the bases, and Tyler Flowers walked to send in one run. Eaton then hit a two-run single for a 4-0 Sox lead.
Dayan Viciedo, back in the Sox lineup after a one-game absence due to hamstring soreness, almost gave Twins fans something to cheer for when he grounded into what was very nearly a triple play with Jose Abreu on second and Adam Dunn on first. Abreu was tagged out, and Dunn ran into a force out at second. But Viciedo just beat out the throw to first.
Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham made it 5-0 in the sixth when he doubled and scored on Deduno's throwing error while trying to catch him at third.
The Sox were without two coaches. Pitching coach Don Cooper missed his fifth straight game while dealing with the effects of vertigo, and bench coach Mark Parent will miss the series after returning home for family reasons.
"It's different (without Parent)," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You sit there and bounce ideas off each other. Who you're talking to and what's going on and things that we've done for a few years here will be different. There are other guys that will be able to do that, but he's a pretty good sounding board."
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