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Associated Press, Published April 11 2010

MLB: White Sox throw out Twins' Hardy at plate to end game

CHICAGO – J.J. Hardy was nailed at the plate for the final out when he tried to score on pinch-hitter Jim Thome’s long drive, and the Chicago White Sox held off the Minnesota Twins 5-4 Sunday.

Hardy singled with two outs against Bobby Jenks and took off when Thome hit a shot into the left-center field gap. Left fielder Juan Pierre retrieved the ball on the warning track and threw to third baseman Mark Teahen.

Teahen’s relay to catcher A.J. Pierzynski arrived in plenty of time, and Hardy was beaten by so much that he didn’t slide or go barreling home.

Pinch-hitter Andruw Jones singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth. Mark Buehrle (2-0) pitched eight innings and Jenks held on for his first save.

Paul Konerko hit a two-run home run, and Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham had solo shots for the White Sox, who snapped a four-game losing steak.

Joe Mauer was 2 for 4 with two doubles for the Twins, who finished a season-opening road trip 5-2 and are set to open Target Field against the Boston Red Sox on Monday.

Buehrle settled down after the third inning for another strong start, allowing four runs and eight hits. He walked two and struck out one

Twins starter Nick Blackburn (1-1) pitched 7 2-3 innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and one walk.

With two outs in the eighth inning, Blackburn gave up back-to-back singles to Konerko and Carlos Quentin. After left-hander Jose Mijares replaced Blackburn, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sent Jones to bat for Kotsay. Jones singled to left and Quentin scored, just beating Delmon Young’s throw.

After pitching seven scoreless innings in Monday’s opener against Cleveland, Buehrle gave up two runs in the first inning. With one out, Orlando Hudson singled and moved to third on Mauer’s double, and both scored on Justin Morneau’s single to center.

Blackburn couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom of the first. With two out, Quentin doubled to left field and Konerko followed with his third homer of the season to tie the score.

Denard Span led off the third with a double, and scored one out later on Mauer’s double to left. With two outs, Mauer scored on Cuddyer’s single to put the Twins up 4-2.

Blackburn couldn’t hold the lead again.

Kotsay homered with two outs in the fourth to pull the White Sox within one, and Beckham tied the score on the first pitch in the sixth inning.

NOTES: Hardy made a nice pickup on Konerko’s grounder in the fourth innning to start a doubleplay. Hardy fielded the ball behind second base and flipped the ball to second baseman Hudson, who barehanded while on the bag and threw to first to get the second out.