MINNEAPOLIS -- After struggling throughout their 10-game homestand, the Twins were desperate for a win against the White Sox on Sunday.
It wasn't pretty, but the Twins rallied for three runs in the seventh inning -- keyed by a two-run go-ahead single from Sam Fuld -- and closer Glen Perkins pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to preserve a much-needed 4-3 win at Target Field.
The victory helped the Twins avoid being swept at home in a four-game series against the White Sox for the first time ever. Minnesota finished its 10-game homestand with a 3-7 record, but at least ended it on a positive note.
"Winning one isn't a great consolation prize, but it's better than losing," Perkins said. "Hopefully, it'll give us some momentum."
Perkins was able to wriggle out of a jam in the ninth after giving up back-to-back singles to Jose Abreu and Paul Konerko to open the inning. He loaded the bases with one out but recorded two strikeouts in the inning before getting Gordon Beckham to fly out to left to get his 25th save.
"It was a disappointing homestand, but to get the win was a huge," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was a big relief. It was probably as tense of a ninth inning as you can get."
Perkins' save was made possible by a three-run rally in the seventh after the Twins loaded the bases with no outs against reliever Ronald Belisario. Right-hander Javy Guerra replaced Belisario and gave up the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Danny Santana before Fuld came through with a two-run single with two outs to give Minnesota the lead.
"I was just trying to stay within my approach and not let the moment get to me," said Fuld, who was thrown out at second on the play. "I was just trying to shoot it up the middle and stay short."
Right-hander Yohan Pino started out strong for the Twins, as he didn't give up a hit until he surrendered a two-out single to Alejandro De Aza in the fifth inning.
He was staked to a one-run lead with the Twins scoring in the third against White Sox right-hander Scott Carroll on an RBI triple from Santana after Eduardo Escobar doubled. It was the lone run the Twins would score against Carroll, who gave up four hits and a walk over six innings, but left because of a blister.
"It was fine up until that last inning," Carroll said. "It just flared up a little bit. It's something we'll stay on top of. Obviously I wanted to go deeper in the game."
But Pino gave up the lead by allowing two runs in the sixth. Beckham started the rally with a double before advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt. The Twins brought the infield in for Adam Eaton, who hit a grounder to Chris Parmelee. But Parmelee couldn't get to first base in time in a play that stood after a review.
Eaton's infield single loomed large, as Alexei Ramirez came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game before Abreu connected on a go-ahead RBI double to left field. But Pino still gave up just two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts to get stuck with a no-decision.
"I felt great," Pino said. "I made my pitches. We battled there and the bullpen did a good job."
The White Sox made it a one-run game in the eighth with a solo shot from Adrian Nieto off reliever Casey Fien. It was Nieto's first career homer, but it wasn't enough for the White Sox as Fien was able to finish the inning without any further damage, and Perkins was able to finish it off in dramatic fashion in the ninth.
"That was a lot of drama, but we found a way to win," Gardenhire said. "Pino did a nice job and got us deep into the game without giving up much. We found a way to get some runs in with some good at-bats. So it was a nice win. We needed a win. It was fun shaking hands. It was very entertaining at the end with Perk out there."