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Associated Press, Published May 13 2013

Hicks' big night helps Twins to victory

MINNEAPOLIS – Ron Gardenhire has seen center fielders like Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter and Ben Revere make some spectacular catches during his time coaching and managing the Minnesota Twins.

After Monday night, he’s adding Aaron Hicks to the list.

Hicks hit two home runs and made a leaping catch in center field to take a home run away from Adam Dunn in the Twins’ 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.

“We’ve definitely had our share of great ones here and that ranks right up there,” Gardenhire said. “That catch is going to rank right up there, especially the moment he caught the ball. A big moment, a big play.”

Justin Morneau extended his hitting streak to nine games with three hits and four RBIs, including a bases-clearing double that capped the scoring in the eighth.

Hicks, who missed the previous two games due to a sore right elbow, led off the fourth inning with a 416-foot solo homer that bounced in front of the black batter’s eye in center field and gave the Twins a 5-2 lead.

With a runner on third and the Twins holding a 5-3 lead in the sixth, Dunn drove a pitch from reliever Josh Roenicke deep to center that appeared to be headed for the same spot Hicks’ blast landed. However, the Twins’ rookie sprinted back, leaped high, and caught the ball above the wall, falling to the ground and grinning as he opened his glove to show the ball to the umpire.

After getting congratulated by teammates jogging off the field, Hicks hit his second home run in the bottom of the sixth, this one landing in the bullpen in left-center.

“Right after the catch I felt amazing, I felt loose. To hit that one, it just capped it off,” Hicks said.

Fans at Target Field stood and cheered for a curtain call, and Hicks finally obliged after Pedro Florimon popped out.

“I heard ‘em, but it’s my first one so I don’t really know,” said Hicks, whose teammates doused him with Gatorade and shaving cream after the game. “Morneau’s saying, ‘Hey these don’t happen that often.’ Florimon ended up popping out, so I had to kind of wait. Then I went out and got it.”

Dunn and Hicks entered the game tied for the lowest batting average in baseball (.137) among qualifiers. When the night was over, Hicks’ average was .152 and Dunn’s .133.

“Yeah, the kid made a great play,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, whose team allowed three unearned runs. “I think that one was one he hit well, but you don’t get anything out of it. But again we are not helping ourselves on the other side.”

Chicago Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

De Aza cf 5 2 3 0 Dozier 2b 5 1 1 0

AlRmrz ss 4 1 3 0 Mauer c 2 2 1 0

Rios rf 4 0 1 2 Wlngh lf 4 1 0 1

Viciedo dh 3 0 0 1 Mornea 1b 5 1 3 4

A.Dunn 1b 3 0 0 0 Doumit dh 4 0 1 1

Kppngr 3b 3 0 0 0 Plouffe 3b 4 0 1 2

Gillspi ph-3b 1 0 0 0 Arcia rf 4 0 1 0

C.Wells lf 4 0 1 0 Hicks cf 3 3 2 2

Flowrs c 4 0 2 0 Flormn ss 4 2 2 0

Greene 2b 4 0 0 0

Totals 35 3 10 3 Totals 35 10 12 10

Chicago 200 001 000— 3

Minnesota 004 101 04x—10

E—Al.Ramirez (6). DP—Chicago 1, Minnesota 1. LOB—Chicago 7, Minnesota 7. 2B—Al.Ramirez (8), Rios (8), Morneau 2 (10), Plouffe (7), Arcia (5), Florimon (4). HR—Hicks 2 (3). SB—Dozier (3). SF—Viciedo, Doumit.

IP H R ER BB SO

Chicago

H.Santiago L,1-2 5Xc 8 6 3 1 6

Lindstrom Zc 0 0 0 0 1

Omogrosso 1 1 0 0 1 1

Heath 1 3 4 4 3 0

Minnesota

P.Hernandez W,2-0 5Zc 6 3 3 0 4

Roenicke H,5 1Xc 1 0 0 0 3

Burton H,8 1 2 0 0 1 1

Fien 1 1 0 0 0 1

WP—Roenicke.

T—2:51. A—25,605 (39,021).