Twin killing for Buehrle

SportsBaseballChicago White SoxMinnesota TimberwolvesJose OffermanSandy AlomarMark Buehrle

What was all this talk about the White Sox not being able to play in the Metrodome?

For a second straight night, the Sox pounded Minnesota pitching, this time in an 8-2 victory that moved the Sox into a tie with the Twins for first place in the AL Central Division.

The teams have identical 24-17 records with two games remaining in the four-game series.

"It's good to come in here and take the first two from these guys," winning pitcher Mark Buehrle said.

Buehrle picked up his third straight win, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings.

He walked two and tied a season high with eight strikeouts.

And again, Buehrle was the recipient of some overpowering offense.

The Sox have scored 34 runs in Buehrle's last three starts.

"This offense is getting confidence," Buehrle said.

With Neal Cotts making a spot start Saturday and not expected to pitch more than three or four innings, the Sox needed Buehrle to go deep into the game in order to save the bullpen.

Buehrle said pitching coach Don Cooper wanted him to go eight innings and Buehrle was prepared to go out in the eighth with an 8-2 lead, but he had already thrown 117 pitches.

Shingo Takatsu finished for Buehrle, pitching two shutout innings and giving manager Ozzie Guillen a rested bullpen for Saturday.

Also more impressive was the Sox did their damage without hot-hitting Frank Thomas, who was a late scratch with the stomach flu.

Shortstop Jose Valentin, moved into the cleanup spot, had a double and two-run home run.

"It would be nice when everyone is getting a hit to get one too," said Valentin, who was the only starter hitless in Thursday night's 16-hit attack.

Timo Perez added a two-run homer as the Sox built an 8-2 lead after seven innings, allowing the crowd of 30,116 to head out early and catch the rest of the Minnesota Timberwolves' playoff game being played across town.

After losing seven straight to the Twins dating back to last season, the Sox have turned the tables, winning the last three and outscoring Minnesota 29-5.

"We could've left here six games out," Guillen said.

The Sox dealt Carlos Silva his second straight loss, also defeating him Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Like that game, the Sox jumped on Silva early with four runs in the second inning.

After making three errors in the series opener Thursday, the Twins added three more Friday.

Left fielder Justin Morneau, called up Friday when Shannon Stewart was put on the disabled list, failed to field a Sandy Alomar Jr. grounder cleanly with one out and runners on second and third in the second inning, allowing both Paul Konerko and Joe Crede to come around and score.

Jose Offerman then made the first of two errors when his relay on an attempted double play sailed into the Sox dugout, allowing another run to score.

Buehrle got out of a jam in the third inning when the Twins loaded the bases with one out, but he struck out Jacque Jones and Matthew LeCroy lined out to Konerko at first.

The Twins got to Buehrle in the fourth when Torii Hunter singled, went to second when Morneau was hit with a pitch and scored on Michael Cuddyer's double.

That snapped Buehrle's consecutive shutout-inning streak at 17.

Cuddyer provided the other run off Buehrle with a seventh-inning home run.

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