MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi said he has tried to approach his starts recently "with the attitude that I'm going to get here and do my job."
He did his job as well as he has all season Thursday night at Target Field.
The 27-year-old right-hander had a one-hit shutout heading into the eighth inning and ended up pitching a season-high 72/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk in a 5-2 victory over the Twins.
"Everything was working today," Noesi said.
The stellar outing from a pitcher the Sox claimed off waivers in April with a 14.21 ERA was needed as the Sox bullpen was depleted because Zach Putnam was put on the 15-day disabled list Thursday afternoon.
What the Sox need from Noesi (5-7) now is outings like Thursday's on a more consistent basis. It was his eighth quality start in 16 outings in the Sox rotation and brought his ERA down to 4.99.
"Seeing the strides he has made is impressive," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's definitely steps in the right direction. ... I wouldn't say surprising, but where you get him and where he's at now, you don't envision that."
The only Twins hit through the first seven 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, with Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez also nearby. 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 with a 5-2 lead.
"I'm not glad they got another hit," Eaton said. "But it would be something else if (the dropped ball) was the only hit of the game and he went a complete game. It will be better for sure next time."
After the Sox scored five runs over their entire three-game series against the Royals, they scored five in the first six innings against the Twins to help make Noesi more comfortable.
Eaton doubled and scored on Ramirez's single off Twins starter Phil Hughes in the third.
Hughes was knocked out of the game in the fourth when Sox designated-hitter Adam Dunn singled off Hughes' right leg. Samuel Deduno entered in relief as Hughes walked gingerly to the dugout with a shin contusion after allowing four hits and striking out four.
Conor Gillaspie and De Aza each singled off Deduno to load the bases and Tyler Flowers walked to send in one run. Eaton then had a two-run single.
Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham doubled in the sixth and scored on Deduno's throwing error while trying to advance to third on a grounder.
"We haven't had a game like this in a while, to come out quickly," Eaton said. "We didn't bury the team by any stretch of the imagination, but ... to be able to get a lead and let our pitchers try to get ahead of guys and not worry about being up only one run, it was nice."
Sox reliever Jake Petricka, a Minnesota native, pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save.
"To be able to come in and not create any situations for himself, and do it pretty easily, (was big)," Ventura said.
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