- Associated Press - Thursday, September 4, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - John Danks is still searching for the right mix of pitches to stop his losing streak.

Kennys Vargas homered for the second consecutive night and Eduardo Nunez had four hits as the Minnesota Twins defeated Danks and the Chicago White Sox 11-4 on Wednesday.

Danks (9-10) is winless in seven starts since a July 25 victory in Minnesota left him 9-6. He gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings.

“This one was just not his night,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I don’t know if he was up in the zone, but guys are sitting on that fastball a little bit more. When he was going well he had his curveball mixing in and really an effective changeup. Right now it just seems like everyone is really sitting on the fastball. If you can’t locate that stuff, you’re going to get hit.”

Minnesota jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first behind Nunez’s RBI triple and back-to-back doubles from Josmil Pinto and Oswaldo Arcia.

Danks settled down to hold the Twins scoreless for the next three innings, and Chicago got back into it. Dayan Viciedo’s two-run homer into the second deck in left brought the White Sox within a run, and Adam Eaton’s RBI single tied it in the fifth.

But the Twins broke loose for five runs in the bottom half to break a 3-all tie and set up Trevor May (1-4) for his first major league win. Vargas’ RBI single and Eduardo Escobar’s two-run triple did the bulk of the damage for Minnesota.

The game was halted in the bottom of the fifth by a 16-minute rain delay. When play resumed, Vargas blooped Danks’ first pitch into right field for an RBI single that gave the Twins a 4-3 lead.

“Kind of in my mind I think Vargas thought that after the delay I’d probably try to come out and throw a fastball and get back in the rhythm of things,” Danks said. “I threw a changeup and it cut on me again, but I still got weak contact. It was kind of par for the course, the way the night went, but it finds a hole. I’m not complaining. I didn’t do myself any favors.”

Four batters later, Escobar hit reliever Matt Lindstrom’s first pitch into the right-field corner for a two-run triple.

“I almost felt like every time I threw a fastball they knew it was coming,” said Danks, who is 7-13 against Minnesota since 2007. “We tried to mix it up and almost tried to pitch backwards a little bit. I worked better than before, but it was just an all-around bad night. It’s pretty frustrating.”

Vargas added a two-run homer deep into the second deck in left field in the sixth. Since being called up from the minors on Aug. 1, Vargas has 31 RBIs - third-most in the majors during that span.

May allowed three runs and six hits while striking out six in five innings.


The Twins honored White Sox captain Paul Konerko in a pregame ceremony commemorating his final game in Minnesota. First baseman Joe Mauer and closer Glen Perkins gave Konerko a bottle of wine, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire presented a $10,000 check for the Bring Me Home Campaign, which supports foster care in Chicago.

“He’s one of those clutch hitters against us, and when their team was playing really, really well you hated to see that guy come up. Not just because of a hit, but I’m talking a big hit. I’m talking home runs and that type of thing,” Gardenhire said. “He’s always been a constant over there and always seemed to come up in those big situations against us. He’d come up and find a way.”

In his 18-year career, Konerko played 256 games against the Twins, more than any player in history.


White Sox: Jose Abreu returned to the lineup at DH after being given a night off due to general soreness. “It’s nothing major,” Ventura said. “I think at times it’s his ankle, at other times it’s his hamstring. When it all piles together he just doesn’t feel all that great.”


The White Sox wrap up a short road swing with a three-game series in Cleveland that starts Friday. Chris Sale (11-3) pitches against fellow lefty T.J. House (2-3).

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