MINNEAPOLIS - Jim Thome hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning against the team that decided not to bring him back this season, sending the Minnesota Twins to a 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night to stretch their American League Central lead to four games.
After Delmon Young’s leadoff single against former Mariner Matt Thornton (3-4), Thome smashed an 0-1 pitch and sent it sailing over the right-field bleachers to send his new team and the fans at sold-out Target Field into a frenzy.
Thome chucked his helmet into the air as he eagerly approached the mob at the plate.
Alexei Ramirez hit the tying home run in the ninth inning and the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th as Twins relievers Matt Capps and Jon Rauch gave up three hits apiece in the last two innings. Ron Mahay (1-1) was the winner.
The Twins are 23-7 in their past 30 games, and the White Sox are 15-16 in their past 31.
The teams have five more meetings this year.
White Sox starter John Danks recovered from a four-run first inning to finish seven frames and save the beat-up bullpen from more overuse. The Twins, who had two runners thrown out at home, took the lead back at 6-5 on Young’s fifth-inning homer.
Paul Konerko, who earlier became the second player in the league to reach 30 homers this season, grounded into a double play after the White Sox loaded the bases in the ninth following Ramirez’s homer.
Minnesota’s bullpen was cruising until Capps came in, retiring 10 of 11 batters in relief of Scott Baker.
Glen Perkins, in his first appearance at Target Field, got Mark Kotsay to ground out with the bases full to finish the fifth and stranded A.J. Pierzynski following a leadoff double in the sixth.