Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  By PHIL ERVIN  |  Last updated 9/18/13
At least the shellackings are over well before the ninth inning. A night after handing the Twins their second double-digit losing margin in the span of a week, the American League Central Division's worst team gave Minnesota an unneeded reminder that the close ones hurt, too. Three well-hit balls in the ninth inning of a 4-3 defeat -- the Twins' 10th in their last 13 outings -- could've sparked a late rally Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field. All three led to outs. Minnesota put runners at the corners with no outs in the seventh. One run came home to score. In the sixth, Pedro Florimon flew out the center field with the bases loaded. "A tough one for us," manager Ron Gardenhire called it, "because the guys were into it pretty good." As into it as a team that's now 64-86 and in danger of letting the White Sox (60-91) pass it for the awkward achievement of fourth place in the division can be, that is. Chicago had demoralized the Twins the night before, scoring seven runs in the first inning of a 12-1 victory reminiscent of Minnesota's 18-3 embarrassment last Wednesday. With a chance to even their second-to-last road series of an excruciating season, the same old scars plagued them further. Mike Pelfrey's freefall persisted, as he took his fifth loss in a row (the previous one came in that Oakland blowout). Minnesota left 10 runners on base and went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Three White Sox errors weren't enough for the Twins to break a five-game losing streak against Chicago. Almost every television camera shot of Gardenhire showed a man continually disgruntled, often swiping a big, burly hand over his goateed face in disbelief. An all-too-recognizable sight. The White Sox pulled ahead in the fifth inning via Alexei Ramirez's RBI double to left field. The shortstop came in hitting .394 against the Twins with 13 RBI -- five more than he'd laced against any other team. On the next pitch from Pelfrey, a 79-mph curveball, Dayan Viciedo doubled Chicago's newfound advantage with a soft line drive to left. Paul Konerko did the same exact thing two batters later, and Gardenhire yanked Pelfrey after 4 13 innings. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound righty fell to 5-13 and saw his ERA spike a bit to 5.34. The White Sox pounded out nine hits and three earned runs against him Tuesday. Pelfrey threw 38 pitches in a one-run second inning and once again wasn't anywhere near the efficiency he needs to be, Gardenhire said. "I think we saw the first couple innings were a long process and the pace wasn't going very good," Gardenhire said. "That's a lot of pitches, and the game just had no pace to it again. That's the problem. I think he's a little disappointed in that, too." But Minnesota's bullpen kept it close enough for the Twins to strike back. Per the usual, all for naught. The Twins' best chance came in the top of the seventh frame after an RBI single from Trevor Plouffe and a run-scoring ground ball by Oswaldo Arcia brought them within 4-3. A fielding error by Paul Konerko allowed Ryan Doumit to reach first and moved Alex Presley -- pinch-hitting for Arcia, who'd reached on an error -- to third with one out. Josh Willingham strikeout. Josmil Pinto ground-out to third. Inning over. The ninth was even tougher for Minnesota to stomach.Brian Dozier hit a rocket down the third-base line. Snagged by third baseman Marcus Semien. Plouffe gave an Addison Reed fastball a ride toward deep center field. Alejandro De Aza reached above the wall to catch it. Presley hit as hard of a shot as he has since being traded from Pittsburgh on Aug. 31 toward the gap between second and third. Twins antagonist that he is, Ramirez made a highlight-reel diving catch to end the game. "We had big chances there," Gardenhire said. Jose Quintana (8-6, 3.49 ERA) pitched six effective innings to earn the victory, working around eight hits to allow just one run. Minnesota will try and avoid a series sweep Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. when Scott Diamond matches up with John Danks. The Twins then travel to Oakland for a four-game set, their last away from Target Field this season. Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jimmy Butler recruiting Kyle Lowry to the Timberwolves

WATCH: Tim Tebow didn't waste any time homering after promotion

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

Austin Rivers responds to ‘false’ report about Chris Paul issues

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Kevin Durant laughs off Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Nationals minor league team will give out ‘Ode to Tommy John’ figurines

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker