Gordon Beckham had a home run and two RBIs and John Danks recovered from his worst inning of the season to help the White Sox win their ninth game in a row, 8-7, over Twins last night in Minneapolis.
Danks (9-7) gave up six runs on six hits in the second inning, but only allowed three hits in his other five scoreless innings and the White Sox did all the little things right to push the Twins 4 1/2 games behind them in the AL Central.
Bobby Jenks picked up his 20th save in 21 chances. He struck out Orlando Hudson with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, then gave up an RBI-single to Delmon Young in the ninth before getting Jim Thome looking to end the game.
Chicago perfectly executed four hit-and-runs, bunted runners over, and played superb defense for its 26th win in the last 31 games.
The Twins lost for the seventh time in nine games. Starter Kevin Slowey was tagged for five runs on nine hits in three innings and Alex Burnett (1-2) gave up three more runs in relief.
Braves 2, Brewers 1 — Jair Jurrjens gave up only one run and rookie Jason Heyward made two strong defensive plays in his return from a thumb injury to help host Atlanta beat Milwaukee.
Martin Prado and Chipper Jones hit home runs in the third inning off Dave Bush (4-7).
Milwaukee’s Casey McGehee was the victim on both of Heyward’s defensive gems.
McGehee led off the second with a single. Jim Edmonds followed with a single to right, and Heyward threw out McGehee at third. Heyward’s strong throw to Jones beat McGehee by such a wide margin that McGehee made no apparent attempt to touch the bag on his wide slide.
In the fourth, Heyward avoided injury when he smashed into the right-field wall after making a running catch to rob McGehee of a hit.
The impact near the foul line knocked Heyward to his back on the warning track, where he remained as Braves manager Bobby Cox and assistant trainer Jim Lovell hurried out of the dugout. Heyward, who went 0 for 4 from the plate, remained in the game.
Cardinals 7, Dodgers 1 — Chris Carpenter allowed four hits in eight innings to improve to 6-0 against Los Angeles, and host St. Louis chased an off-kilter Clayton Kershaw early.
Allen Craig had two RBIs without a hit off Kershaw (9-5), who issued consecutive walks on 11 pitches to start the Cardinals’ two-run first, meriting a quick visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
Kershaw also got tagged with a liner off his right leg for an infield hit by Aaron Miles in the second and allowed four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings with one strikeout.
Cubs 12, Phillies 6 — Aramis Ramirez hit a pair of two-run doubles, and Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto each had two-run homers to lead host Chicago over Philadelphia. The Cubs tagged Phillies starter Jamie Moyer (9-9) for six runs on five hits in three innings.
Giants 2, Mets 0 — Tim Lincecum pitched a six-hitter for his fourth career shutout and Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI double to lift host San Francisco over New York. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was out again with a sore right side.
Angels 8, Mariners 3 — Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu drove in three runs apiece, Joel Pineiro won his seventh straight decision, and host Los Angeles roughed up Seattle.