MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -Bobby Jenks needed a bounce-back game and the Chicago White Sox offense needed to break out.
They both did just that in the most unlikely of places - Minnesota.
Target Field proved to be a breath of fresh air for the White Sox, who got a save from the shaky Jenks and the biggest inning of the season from their slumping offense in a 5-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night.
``Target fields best stadium in the american league,' manager Ozzie Guillen said on his Twitter page after the win.
A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez had two-run doubles in a five-run, seven-hit fifth inning for a team that entered the night with the worst batting average in the American League. Freddy Garcia (2-2) gave up two runs on nine hits in seven innings for the win.
Joe Mauer had three hits and Justin Morneau homered for the Twins. But Kevin Slowey (4-3) gave up five runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against Chicago's anemic bats.
Juan Pierre had three hits, including his first extra-base hit of the year with a double in the ninth. Jenks picked up his sixth save in seven tries after being told earlier in the day he was no longer the full-time closer.
Guillen said he would go with matchups, with Jenks, who blew a two-run lead on Sunday against Toronto, J.J. Putz, Sergio Santos and lefty Matt Thornton all options.
He went back to Jenks, who gave up a one-out double to Jim Thome, prompting a visit from Guillen.
``I told him to throw the ball, throw strikes,' Guillen said. ``Whatever happens is my fault. Because I put you here. I have confidence in you. I showed you how much confidence I have in you. If that went wrong today, I would've taken a lot of heat.'
Jenks bounced a curveball about 5 feet in front of home plate against Nick Punto, but came back to strike him out on the next pitch before getting Denard Span to ground out to finish the game.
``The thing he's been doing is missing location,' Pierzynski said of Jenks, who carried a 6.75 ERA into the game. ``He came out and got ahead of Punto and put him away. When he throws strikes, he's as good as anybody. He's just got to get his location back and get his confidence. Hopefully tonight is the start of that.'
No team was happier to see the Twins leave the Metrodome than Guillen's White Sox. The outspoken manager never passed up an opportunity to slam the dingy, cramped old stadium, partially because of its stale atmosphere and quirky bounces and partially because his team always seemed to lose there. The White Sox lost 16 of their final 19 games indoors.
``No matter what kind of ballpark they built, it was going to be better than that one,' Guillen said before the game.
The Twins got on the board first in the fourth inning when Delmon Young hit a double down the right-field line to score Mauer. But the potential for a bigger inning was squashed when third-base coach Scott Ullger tried to wave DH Jason Kubel all the way from first base home on the play and he was thrown out at home by 10 feet.
``Just one of those two-out situations where for the most part you tell your guy to send him,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``You try to score with two outs. ... With two outs, you take more gambles than you do the other way.'
The White Sox responded in a way their offense had not done this season. Chicago entered the game last in the AL in batting average (.228) and 10th with a .316 on-base percentage.
``We got a couple big hits. We went through a month where we couldn't get anything done,' Guillen said. ``You have a tendency to lose confidence. The last couple days we've swung the bat better. Hopefully that carries on.'
The Sox set season highs in hits and runs in the inning, which also included an RBI-single from Alex Rios, who had two hits in the inning.
``One bad inning costs you a ballgame,' Gardenhire said.
NOTES: Rios extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fifth. ... Twins RHP Alex Burnett pitched well in relief of Slowey, allowing two hits in three scoreless innings. ... White Sox radio analyst Darrin Jackson is missing the series to tend to a family matter. Pre- and postgame host Chris Rongey filled in on WSCR alongside play-by-play man Ed Farmer.
The Associated Press News Service
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