A pretty win for the Minnesota Twins. A night of ugly behavior by their fans.
Jason Kubel's three-run homer highlighted an unruly seventh inning in the Twins' 10-6 victory over Chicago on Thursday night. The game stopped for several minutes when fans threw hats and baseballs onto the turf and had the White Sox running for the shelter of the dugout.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire punted his hat over his head after third base umpire Marty Foster tossed him in the seventh for arguing a called strike on Denard Span, and fans responded by tossing dozens of hats, and several baseballs, onto the field.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen quickly pulled his players off the field, and the Metrodome public address announcer warned the announced crowd of 31,493 that the Twins were risking a forfeit if the behavior continued.
The fans settled down after about five minutes, and the Twins had a four-run inning to erase a 4-3 deficit. Joe Mauer tied the game with an RBI single and Kubel followed with his homer off Octavio Dotel for a 7-4 lead.
Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer off Matt Guerrier in the eighth, but the Twins tacked on three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer and Brendan Harris added two doubles for the Twins, who took three of four from the White Sox and trail first-place Chicago by a half-game in the AL Central.
Jim Thome hit his 527th career homer to give the Sox a 2-0 lead in the second and A.J. Pierzynski's two-run single made it 4-0 in the fifth.
But Matt Thornton (4-3) and Dotel couldn't back up starter John Danks, allowing the Twins (60-48) to pull even with the Sox (60-47) in the win column.
Help is on the way for Chicago.
Wheeling-and-dealing general manager Kenny Williams pulled off yet another aggressive trade at the deadline, sending reliever Nick Masset and Triple-A infielder Danny Richar to Cincinnati for Ken Griffey Jr. The White Sox plan to play Griffey in center field, hoping they can squeeze at least two more months out of his 38-year-old legs, and a few more homers to his career total of 608.
While Williams stayed true to his form by making a deal, Twins general manager Bill Smith also followed franchise protocol by not trading promising youngsters for rental players that would help them win now.
Instead the Twins will hope that the eventual returns of Michael Cuddyer and Francisco Liriano will be enough to put them back into the playoffs after missing last season.