CHICAGO -- Minnesota turned the game over to Joe Mays after the Twins' struggling offense got off to a quick start.
Against the Chicago White Sox, that's exactly what they needed to snap a six-game losing streak.
"It means a lot because it gives you a chance to pitch your game," Mays said after throwing hitless ball for 5 1-3 innings as the Twins beat the White Sox 6-1 Friday night.
The Twins roughed up Mark Buehrle for three runs in the first -- they'd scored just nine runs in their previous five games -- and then Mays did what he usually does against the White Sox.
Running his career record against the White Sox to 7-2, he kept them off balance with a variety of offerings at different speeds.
"Not a lot of guys were getting good swings off me," Mays said.
Mays (3-2) retired the first 11 batters before hitting Frank Thomas with two outs in the fourth and didn't allow a hit until Sandy Alomar Jr. singled with one out in the sixth.
Thomas led off the seventh inning with his fourth homer. Magglio Ordonez and Paul Konerko followed with back-to-back singles, but Mays got Armandos Rios to hit into a double play after he couldn't get a bunt down, and the rally fizzled.
"His ball is just moving all over the place and you jam yourself. He's just got a good mix of pitches," Thomas said. "He's not overpowering. He's crafty and he gets guys out."
Bob Kielty hit a two-run homer off David Sanders in the eighth after Cristian Guzman was hit by a pitch. Minnesota tacked on another run with an error and RBI single by Matthew LeCroy.
Buehrle (2-3) gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings in his previous start against Cleveland, and started slowly again.
"The same thing that happened last time. I got us down in the first inning," Buehrle said.
"Buehrle is a guy you got to jump out on early, which we did," Kielty said.
Dustan Mohr led off the game with a double, moved up on an infield hit and, after Kielty walked, scored on Corey Koskie's sacrifice fly.
Torii Hunter followed with an RBI triple, Buehrle hit Doug Mientkiewicz and LeCroy's RBI single made it 3-0.
Buehrle surrendered only two hits after the first, giving up just five overall in seven innings, but the 19-game winner from a year ago struggled early.
Notes: The White Sox have lost five of six. ... Ordonez was unhappy after he was hit with a pitch in the ninth by J.C. Romero and stayed on the field after the game ended, glaring at the Twins as they walked off. Each team hit two batters. "Believe me, Romero wasn't throwing at him," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ... Mays was earlier warned by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa after plunking Thomas in the fourth to end his perfect game. "He thought he had to come out and say it, but I had a perfect game going, a no-hitter and got the guy down 0-2," Mays said. "I didn't want to make a mistake over the plate and it just ran in."
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