Dozier, Mauer continue Twins' slugging ways
Three-run homer, two-run shot key five-run fifth; Correia earns win
CHICAGO -- The strikeouts, struggles with men in scoring position and stranded runners do not seem to be going away. Neither, though, are the home runs.
For the fourth game in a row, the Twins got all their runs from the long ball -- homers from Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer made up a five-run fifth inning -- on Sunday. And for the third time in the series, the Twins beat the White Sox, 5-2, at U.S. Cellular Field.
"We'll take the home runs, if that's the way we're going to score runs right now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "As long you win ballgames. We won a series. It sure does seem like we missed a lot of opportunities, but we did put the ball in the seats.
"As we said coming into this series, this ballpark, the ball flies out of this place, and if you get ahold of it pretty decent, it's going to go out. And that's how we won games here."
Over the course of the four-game series, the Twins hit 11 home runs, and on their road trip, 23 of their 28 runs came via homers. The power surge helped ease the pain of a 7-for-62 mark with runners in scoring position on the trip, and 45 strikeouts over the four games against Chicago.
Meanwhile, Kevin Correia was quietly dominant Sunday, holding the last-place White Sox to five hits over seven shutout innings, striking out a season-high seven and walking just one. It was just his second scoreless start of the season, and first since April 28, when he threw eight shutout frames against the Rangers.
"I think early in the year, I had a lot more smooth innings where I was getting deeper into games," Correia said. "And, as of late, I've been giving up more hits, so I think I've nibbled a little bit more to try to counteract that and my pitch count's gone up. I've just been trying to get back to firing strikes and getting quicker outs."
With the series victory, the Twins tightened their stranglehold on the season series to 9-3. They've won six out of seven since May 15.
"You can't speak for everyone, but nobody comes here every day and expects to lose," White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn said. "We prepare every day to win that day and when things don't work out, you try to put it away and you know you've got another one tomorrow."
Dozier, now with 13 extra-base hits in his last 13 games, broke the scoreless tie with a three-run homer to left field off White Sox starter Jose Quintana. Two batters later, after Jamey Carroll singled, Mauer belted his ninth homer to right field for a 5-0 lead.
It was the catcher's first home run since June 22, a span of 138 at-bats.
Jared Burton followed Correia in the eighth and pitched a quick 1-2-3 inning, striking out two and extending his scoreless appearance streak to 17 games (15 1/3 innings).
Chicago's two runs, too, came via home run, but not until it was ultimately too late. With Casey Fien on to pitch the ninth for the Twins, Dunn led off with his 27th homer, and Conor Gillaspie followed two batters later. Fien struck out pinch-hitter Jordan Danks to end the game.
"Unfortunately, we've still got work to do," Gardenhire said. "We've still got to start driving some of these runs in and these games could be a little easier to manage."