MINNEAPOLIS -- Nick Blackburn fought through five innings and the maligned Minnesota bullpen didn't flinch, pitching the Twins past Mark Buehrle and Chicago, 3-2, Wednesday night to pull to within half a game of the White Sox in the American League Central.
Blackburn (11-10) gave up eight hits and two walks, but he was tough enough when it counted to hold the lead.
Craig Breslow, Boof Bonser and Jose Mijares followed with three scoreless innings, and Joe Nathan handled the ninth for his 39th save this season and 200th of his career.
"It was just a big mind boost for me," said Blackburn, who acknowledged overthinking his struggles during a recent slump. "I just tried to convince myself to make a pitch and not try to press and overthrow anything."
Buehrle (14-12) retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced. After hitting three home runs Tuesday, the Twins went back to what they're used to -- getting the ball on the ground and racing around the bases.
Minnesota improved to 7-1 against Chicago at the Metrodome this year. The margin between the teams has been no bigger than 2 1/2 games since July 27.