MINNEAPOLIS—The White Sox's trouble Thursday night started with ballcaps and debris thrown onto the Metrodome turf.
Two innings later, the Sox's bullpen suffered the brunt of the damage Minnesota's offense inflicted in a 10-6 loss at the Metrodome.
A.J. Pierzynski, mindful the Sox remained atop the American League Central, albeit by a half-game after losing three of four to the second-place Twins.
Manager Ozzie Guillen turned up the music to liven up a quiet clubhouse after the Sox suffered one of their more bizarre losses. They blew a 4-0 lead and were pulled off the field for their own safety when several fans littered the field in the bottom of the seventh inning after Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected for arguing an appeal play on third base umpire Marty Foster's strike call.
Gardenhire tossed his cap and then kicked it in a move that fueled the fans' ire. It also caused the Sox to leave the field with John Danks holding a 1-2 count on Denard Span and a 4-3 lead.
Play resumed about five minutes later and the Twins responded with four runs to take the lead before adding three more in the eighth. The rally started when Danks walked Span.
"[The Twins] don't need to get fired up by Gardy," Guillen said. "They can win without Gardy. They're a good club."
Said Pierzynski: "I knew Gardy was going to throw his hat eventually. That's his go-to move. He usually doesn't kick it. That was entertaining. But the bottom line is we can't walk anybody."
Matt Thornton relieved Danks and threw a wild pitch. Joe Mauer hit a one-out, game-tying single and Jason Kubel smacked a three-run homer off Octavio Dotel to cap the rally.
Danks accepted blame for putting his teammates in a bad spot, but the bullpen has allowed 44 earned runs in its last 72 innings.
"I walked onto the field six times, and all six times I was wrong," Guillen said. "Like I said, the bullpen makes you a good manager. But I was pretty bad."
Left-hander Boone Logan gave up two runs in the eighth as his ERA rose to 4.34.
Danks did his best to not elaborate too much on the delay in which he replied to a fan's taunt above the Sox's dugout, and Guillen challenged a fan to come down to the field to speak to him.
Danks said he saw "everything from a hat to a beer bottle to a Nerf football" tossed onto the field.
"It was the first time I'd seen that, and I'll leave it at that," Danks said.
The Sox are now 1-5 at the Metrodome, where they will return Sept. 23-25.
"It's going to come down to the wire," Pierzynski said. "We're in it for the long haul. We can put this game away and pretend it didn't happen, but it's going to be tough."