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Beckham helps White Sox beat Twins 4-2

Associated Press Modified: September 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm •  Published: September 3, 2012
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CHICAGO (AP) — Hector Santiago was unexpectedly thrown back into the stopper role on Monday night.

This time the converted closer was needed to help end a skid.

He did.

Santiago won in his first major league start and Gordon Beckham hit a two-run homer as the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Monday night.

After falling out of sole possession of first place in the AL Central on Sunday night following a 1-6 road trip and being swept by the Tigers, the White Sox won the first of a 10-game homestand. They moved a game up on Detroit, which lost to Cleveland 3-2.

"Hector did a great job. You ask him to start, a guy that's gone from being a closer and being in the bullpen. He got sent down and stretched him out. This is a big one," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You're asking him to stop a losing streak and he pitched a great game."

With the White Sox playing at night on Sunday, Santiago was sent back home ahead of the team flight.

"I got home last night and watched the entire game. I watched every inning. I knew what today meant and I knew today was a big game especially after the game was over and we lost," said Santiago. "I knew I had to come out and be ready and give ourselves a chance to win."

Many of the White Sox players watched the Tigers' last out before going out to stretch while manager Robin Ventura practiced his putting in his office.

The White Sox have won eight straight at home and 22 of their last 27 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Jamey Carroll hit his first home run in three seasons for the Twins, who are 25 games below .500.

Santiago (3-1) pitched five-plus innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out six and walked three. Santiago started the season as the White Sox closer and later moved to a middle reliever. The rookie was sent to Triple-A Charlotte to be stretched out as a starter.

"It's been fun because you never know what you're going to do," said Santiago. "One day you're closing, the next day you are in long relief, next day coming in against a lefty. Now I'm starting. It's just fun, you never know what to expect. The other day I threw an inning, 'You're done, you are starting Monday.' I was like, 'OK,' kind of shocking but ... It's kind of exciting because you never know what is going to happen."

Santiago took Gavin Floyd's turn in the rotation who is out with a sore right shoulder.

Addison Reed pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances. The White Sox needed six relievers to secure the win.

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