CHICAGO -- To win a ballgame while stranding 11 men on base, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and striking out 10 times, you have to deliver some big blows. The Twins certainly had that down pat on Friday.
Thanks to three home runs -- including Oswaldo Arcia's game-winner to lead off the 10th inning -- Minnesota was able to sweep a day-night doubleheader against the White Sox on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field with a 3-2 victory.
Over the course of the two games, the first of which Minnesota won 7-5, the Twins went 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position, struck out 25 times and left 19 men on base. But they hit seven homers, with all 10 of their runs coming by way of the long ball. On the day, 15 of the 17 runs scored by both teams came via home runs.
"It's never changed," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The ball flies here [at U.S. Cellular Field] during the summer. We've all known that. If you get a ball up and you get the barrel on it, it'll fly. That's just the way it is. We've seen their team do it too many times to us."
In an odd twist, reliever Brian Duensing earned the win after also taking the victory in the afternoon game. He threw 1 1/3 innings all day, but took the mound at just the right time. He's the first Twins pitcher to win two games in one day since Hall of Famer Walter Johnson in 1923.
"He didn't have to pitch much to do it and get two wins," Gardenhire said. "One of the strange things about baseball, I guess. The first game he threw to one hitter and got a win, and this game he threw an inning and got another win. Right place, right time. Maybe he's an omen, I can keep putting him out there and he'll get wins. And that's OK with us."
Spot-starter Liam Hendriks was also sharp for the Twins, though his stay was short. Making his third start of 2013 and 23rd of his career, the righty was called up as the 26th man for the doubleheader and did well to limit the White Sox. He held them hitless through three innings before giving up two singles and a homer in the fourth. In the end, he gave up just the two runs on seven hits (including two homers) over 6 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking one.
"I kind of figured when I checked into the hotel and they said I was checking out on the 10th anyway," said Hendriks, who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester following the game. "So I kind of assumed. But I knew what the situation was and I knew there was a very slim chance of me staying around. Now I get to fly to Norfolk, Va., tomorrow where the Rochester Red Wings are and get back in that clubhouse and get ready and hopefully I won't be there long."
After fellow starter Kyle Gibson was tagged for two homers in the first half of the day-night doubleheader, Hendriks surrendered two more in the nightcap. In total, there were 11 homers hit between the two teams in the twin bill. Chris Herrmann (fourth inning), and Josh Willingham (eighth; his first since June 2) joined Arcia with shots in the nightcap.
Arcia, who had struck out three times in the game before that at-bat, drilled the second pitch he saw from right-hander Dylan Axelrod over the wall to dead center field in the 10th.
The first homer Hendriks allowed came off the bat of Alexei Ramirez, who had hit just one home run this season before going yard twice on Friday. Center fielder Blake Tekotte hit his first Major League home run in the sixth for a 2-1 Chicago lead.
After Willingham's homer in the eighth tied it at 2, the Twins put two more men on, but a pinch-hitting Joe Mauer was robbed of an RBI single by a diving Gordon Beckham to end the inning. Then Arcia put the final seal on it in the 10th.
White Sox starter Charles Leesman gave up just one run on four hits while striking out eight and walking five over five-plus innings in his Major League debut, but failed to become the first White Sox lefty to win his debut since Mike Bertotti in 1995.
"All day today, I couldn't wait to get to the park so I could take some stress off of me," said Leesman, sporting a smile from ear to ear. "From the first pitch to the last pitch, it was the most intense, exhilarating feeling I've ever felt. It was awesome."
Entering the game, the two teams were tied for 12th in the American League with 100 home runs on the season (the Twins now have one more than the White Sox), though Twins pitchers were second in the league, having allowed just 104 on the season (now 106).
"The ball carries pretty well here," Hendriks said. "What was it, 15 of the 17 runs? Something ridiculous. That second game, all the runs were scored on solo home runs. It's a great park for a hitter. It just really makes you, as a pitcher, keep everything down and keep everything on the ground."