Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Jim Thome played hero against his former team, drilling a two-run homer off Matt Thornton in the 10th inning, as the Twins edged Chicago, 7-6, to widen their lead to four games over the White Sox in the AL Central.
Alexei Ramirez hit the tying homer off Matt Capps to start the ninth inning and then singled in Brent Lillibridge with the go-ahead run in the 10th for Chicago, but Thome delivered in a big spot to send Minnesota to its fifth straight win.
Delmon Young singled to center to start the bottom of the 10th and Thome, who played for nearly four full seasons (2006-09) for the White Sox, then clobbered an 0-1 pitch from Thornton (3-4) into the crowd beyond the wall in right field.
Thome's 581 career home runs rank 10th on baseball's all-time list, two behind Mark McGwire.
After the game, Thome received a celebratory shaving cream pie to the face while he was being interviewed on the field.
"With them (White Sox) you take it day-by-day, you don't get ahead of yourselves," Thome said. "Any time you can gain ground or gain a game in the standings against a team like that, they can get hot like they did and run off a win streak. Our big thing is to keep the approach we have every day and stay true to our approach. Each of us knows our role and we've done a nice job with that."
Orlando Hudson and Young both homered off starter John Danks. Thome had three hits and drove in three runs in Minnesota's biggest win yet at new Target Field. Young also had three hits as the Twins moved to 9-4 this season against the White Sox.
Ron Mahay (1-1) retired the final batter in the top of the 10th to get the win in the opener of the big three-game series.
Paul Konerko and Mark Kotsay also homered for the White Sox, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.
Young homered to left field in the fifth, putting the Twins up 5-4.
Thornton escaped a jam in the eighth by retiring Denard Span on a fly ball to center, leaving runners at the corners.
Ramirez then homered to left field, but the White Sox lost an opportunity to add to their lead after loading the bases. Konerko, though, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play with first baseman Michael Cuddyer digging a low throw out of the dirt.
Kotsay and A.J. Pierzynski each singled in the 10th. Ramirez singled beyond diving shortstop J.J. Hardy to give Chicago the short-lived lead.
Hudson homered to left-center in the first inning, Kubel added a two-run triple just after singles from Joe Mauer and Cuddyer. Thome singled in Kubel later in the frame.
Konerko and Kotsay went deep in the second for a 4-3 game.
Thome was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Danny Valencia's double to end the third, and the White Sox tied it in the fourth on Pierzynski's RBI double.
Twins starter Scott Baker loaded the bases in the fifth, but Glen Perkins got Kotsay on a ground ball to keep the game tied.
"We fought back," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They're playing hard, they played very good. The only thing you can do is go out and get them tomorrow."
Hardy missed the previous four games with a sore wrist...Danks allowed 11 hits over his seven innings...Baker yielded four hits in 4 2/3 frames...Chicago left 10 men on base and Minnesota nine.