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Twins rally for first victory

Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (16) is greeted by Joe Mauer after scoring against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning at U.S Cellular Field. USA Today

CHICAGO (TSX) — Minnesota Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia had been waiting three games to get his first hit of the season.

He had watched Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton rob him at the wall in the seventh inning of Thursday’s game, and when Arcia stepped to the plate in the ninth with the game on the line, he nearly witnessed it again.

With two outs and the score tied at 9, Arcia hit a 3-1 sinker to deep center field. Manager Ron Gardenhire and the rest of the Twins on the bench yelled for the ball to get over the fence when they saw it heading toward Eaton.

But it would not quite make it that far. The ball landed just past the outstretched glove of Eaton, allowing Arcia to reach third and the go-ahead run to score.

Twins closer Glen Perkins stranded the tying run at third in the bottom of the ninth and Minnesota completed its rally for a 10-9 victory over the White Sox.

Minnesota first baseman Chris Colabello had a career-high six RBIs in the Twins’ victory.

“I was just a little bit big in the first two games, trying to do too much, but in that situation I just tried to lock it in emotionally, especially with the cold (weather) out there,” Arcia said through a translator. “I wanted to be able to get us a lead there and try to avoid extra innings.”

The Twins (1-2) scored two runs with two outs in the ninth off White Sox closer Matt Lindstrom. Third baseman Trevor Plouffe tied it at 9 with a single to right field, scoring left fielder Josh Willingham, who reached on a walk. Arcia followed with the triple.

Perkins bounced back from Wednesday’s blown save and got Chicago pinch-hitter Paul Konerko to ground out for his first save of the year. It was the first blown save for Lindstrom (0-1).

“I was making my pitches early and I just didn’t get the job done,” Lindstrom said. “It was kind of rough right there trying to get them to chase something.”

Third baseman Marcus Semien blasted a go-ahead home run in the eighth for his first hit of the season to put the White Sox ahead 9-8. Chicago (2-1) blew a three-run lead, which they had after six innings.

Semien, who had been 0 for 13 before his home run, hit a 2-2 pitch off Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar (1-0) with one out to put the White Sox ahead.

“I was just trying to be a little bit more quiet and keep my head on the ball and I’ve been seeing lefties a little bit better since spring training,” Semien said. “They threw me a fastball middle in, and I put a good swing on it and barreled it up.”

Twins catcher Josmil Pinto hit a home run to lead off the eighth against Chicago reliever Ronald Belisario, tying the score at 8 and erasing an impressive comeback by the White Sox.

Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu had a go-ahead triple with the bases loaded in the sixth. Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak fooled Abreu on two curveballs to start the at-bat. But Abreu made Swarzak pay for throwing a third consecutive curve, clearing the bases with a three-run triple to give the White Sox an 8-5 lead.

Abreu finished 2 for 4 with four RBIs.

“I’m glad I won’t see him for a while,” Gardenhire said of Abreu. “The kid can really hit. We knew that coming in. We heard he was a really strong young man, and that’s why we were pitching around him. No disrespect to Mr. (Adam) Dunn. The way the guy’s getting the barrel to the ball, you just try to limit the damage when he comes up in a lot of situations because he seems like he’s on.”

Semien set the stage for Abreu’s go-ahead, three-run triple. He stepped to the plate in the sixth and drew a full-count, bases-loaded walk to drive in a run to tie the score at 5. Three pitches later, Abreu put the White Sox ahead.

Colabello cut the White Sox’s lead to 8-6 with an RBI groundout in the seventh. Plouffe followed with a two-out double to make it a one-run game. Eaton made a run-saving catch into the wall to preserve the Chicago lead to end the seventh.

Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes allowed four runs and five hits and struck out seven in five innings.

White Sox starter Jose Quintana also picked up a no-decision after surrendering five runs (two earned) and striking out eight in six innings.

For a second straight day, the White Sox put themselves in position for a comeback win against the Twins.

Although the White Sox had five runners reach base through the first four innings, Hughes did not let them take advantage. Only one mistake cost Hughes, who came in with a 1.34 ERA in 11 previous games against the White Sox — a career best against any team.

Left fielder Alejandro De Aza put the White Sox ahead 1-0 with his major league-leading third homer of the season to lead off the second.

However, the White Sox began punishing the ball in the fifth. Eaton started the inning with a triple and scored on Abreu’s RBI double. Dunn followed with a two-run homer to right field to trim the Twins’ lead to 5-4.

Quintana labored to get through his outing. He was poised to escape a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the third with the White Sox’s 1-0 lead still intact. However, right fielder Avisail Garcia misjudged the ball off Colabello’s bat, leading to a bases-clearing double and a 3-1 Twins lead. All three runs were earned after the White Sox botched a rundown with one out in the inning, leading to the bases-loaded trouble.

Quintana ran into trouble again in the fifth despite getting the first two batters out. Twins designated hitter Joe Mauer snapped an 0-for-10 streak to start the season with a two-out single.

Mauer’s hit began a stretch of three straight by the Twins. Mauer and Willingham (single) scored on Colabello’s two-run, two-out double to right field for a 5-1 Twins lead.

NOTES: 3B Conor Gillaspie (flu) was held out of the White Sox’s lineup on Thursday for the second consecutive game. Manager Robin Ventura said Gillaspie was improving and available off the bench against the Twins. ... Twins RHP Casey Fien (left ankle contusion) felt better one day after getting hit by a ball up the middle off Adam Eaton’s bat to end the seventh inning of Wednesday’s game. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire expects Fien to be ready for the weekend series against the Cleveland Indians. ... Twins LHP Brian Duensing was activated from the paternity list before Thursday’s series finale against the White Sox. RHP Michael Tonkin was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Duensing on the 25-man roster