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Morneau’s clutch double gives Twins 4-3 win against White Sox

>MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Justin Morneau came through with yet another clutch hit for the Minnesota Twins. The Chicago White Sox should have taken notes.

After giving themselves chance after chance to break a game open, the White Sox watched Morneau hit a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning to give Nick Blackburn and the Twins a 4-3 victory on Wednesday.

“I just said, ‘I can’t strike out and look silly again,'” said Morneau, being a bit hard on himself after his drive to deep left-center off a high, full-count pitch from Boone Logan scored Carlos Gomez and hung the loss on reliever Ehren Wasserman (0-1).

Morneau raised his average with runners in scoring position to .481 with 18 RBIs in 27 at-bats.

“He’s an RBI guy. That’s what he does,” manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Gomez, who went 3-for-4, scored twice and reached on a bunt single to begin the inning, boasted that when he’s on second or third base with Joe Mauer or Morneau batting he’ll score 90 percent of the time.

Blackburn (2-1) wasn’t sharp, but he lasted seven innings and made the right pitches at the right times. He allowed eight hits, three runs and two walks while striking out four and gave the Twins consecutive victories by starting pitchers for the first time in 18 days.

Chicago’s Nick Swisher walked on four pitches to start the game and scored on Jim Thome’s double, then delivered a two-out single in the fifth for a brief 3-2 lead.

That hit was the only success the Sox had with runners in scoring position, leaving them 1-for-8 for the afternoon and 5-for-45 in their last five games.

“Another day with our hitting,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “It’s not easy when they’re not swinging the bat well to score some runs and put some pressure on them.”

Chicago leads the league with 36 homers, but the team’s batting average is a league-low .242.

“When our pitchers go out there and do a heck of a job for us, we have to score some more runs for them,” Swisher said. “And it’s going to come. … We’ve had plenty of opportunities to win a lot of games, and that’s one thing we’re going to have to work on. I think the one thing that we might be doing is trying TOO hard, trying to get the big hit EVERY time.”

After Blackburn departed, Dennys Reyes struck out Thome to start the eighth. Pat Neshek struck out Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin, who hit a solo homer in the fourth but slammed his bat down in disgust after the side-retiring whiff against the side-arming Neshek.

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