Chisox batter Mays
CHICAGO -- Thanks to a couple of homers by Jose Valentin and a single back to the mound, Joe Mays' mastery of the Chicago White Sox is over.
Valentin homered in his first two at-bats, and the White Sox beat Mays for the first time in 12 tries Wednesday night with a 10-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. "It's nice. Finally, we got him," said Valentin, whose five RBIs were one shy of his career high. "He's a guy that's had our number. But today wasn't the day for him and we got him."
Mark Buehrle (16-9) extended his dominance of the Twins, scattering seven hits over seven innings. He's 4-0 against Minnesota this season, and 6-1 in his career.
Rookie Willie Harris went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the White Sox, who snapped a six-game losing skid. Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-5, including a solo shot in the eighth.
"It seems like I do better against better teams, playoff-contending teams," Buehrle said. "I don't know if I go out there more focused. I don't think I do. But it's the teams that are struggling that hit me around."
Mays (2-5) lasted only two innings after getting hit on the right thumb by a batted ball. Of the five earned runs he allowed, four came after he got hit.
"Tonight is just one of those nights that just didn't start off on the right foot," said Mays, who said his bruised thumb isn't serious.
He was already in a hole after Valentin's two-run homer in the first inning. And with two outs in the second, Harris hit a comeback to the mound that glanced off Mays' thumb as he tried to block it.
He lost track of the ball as it popped up in the air and dropped behind him. He grabbed the ball to try and make a play, but Harris had already reached first and Mark Johnson was safe at second.
Time was called, and the Twins trainer and manager Ron Gardenhire went out to the mound to watch as Mays threw a couple of warmup pitches. He stayed in the game, but it was clear something was off.
He gave up an RBI single to Aaron Rowand, and Valentin followed with a three-run homer. It was Valentin's 12th career multihomer game and the second of this season.
"This is a team where, you make mistakes, they are going to make you pay," Gardenhire said. "They have some very good hitters, and tonight he just didn't have it."
Mays struck out Carlos Lee to end the inning and then left with a bruised thumb.
"It was precautionary," Mays said. "I thought I could have still been throwing."