CHICAGO -- Eddie Rosario stayed hot at the plate, tying a career high with five RBIs and falling a triple short of the cycle, to back right-hander Lance Lynn, who turned in his best performance of the young season in an 8-4 win over the White Sox on Saturday. It was the first time the Twins won consecutive games since April 11-12.
Rosario, who entered hitting .324/.343/.706 with three homers and four doubles over his last eight games, added to that total with an RBI single in the first, a two-run homer in the third and a two-run double in the fourth. He came to the plate with two chances to hit a triple, but had to settle for a single in the ninth to go 4-for-5. He tied his previous mark of five RBIs, set in his three-homer game against the Mariners on June 13, 2017.
"I feel great," Rosario said. "When I got back home to Minnesota [last homestand], I worked on my approach and my hitting to left field. I tried to come back and play like I did last year. Play hard and swing at strikes."
Rosario, facing his former teammate Hector Santiago, reached on an infield single in the first that brought home a run as part of Minnesota's three-run opening inning. In the third, he connected on a 2-2 changeup from Santiago for his sixth homer of the year, which ties him with Eduardo Escobar for the team lead. It left the bat at 100.8 mph and went a projected 359 feet to right, per Statcast™.
"We all know he's started to put the offensive side of the game, as far as production, together last year," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "And the start wasn't great, but he's been picking it up. I like it when he's up there, I like it when he's aggressive. Obviously, we talk so much about him trying to command the zone at least somewhat, and when he does that, he can be effective. He got fooled a little bit on the home run, but he still had his hands in the position to get the ball out of the ballpark."
Rosario helped break the game open with a two-run double with two outs in the fourth off reliever Chris Volstad. After fouling off a pitch that bounced up and hit him in the lower abdomen, Rosario shook it off and smacked his two-run double off the base of the wall in center, narrowly missing his second homer of the game. It was hit even harder than his homer, leaving the bat at 101.1 mph and going a projected 386 feet.
It was more than enough offense for Lynn, who registered his first quality start of the year, allowing two runs on eight hits over six innings. Notably, Lynn didn't walk a batter, after entering with 23 walks in 23 2/3 innings, including issuing at least five walks in three of his five starts.
"It feels like a monkey off my back, truthfully," Lynn said. "There's work to do but the offense was great, defense was great. It was a good win. Happy to be out of the zero column with wins, that's for sure."
Lynn scuffled early but settled down after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first. He permitted one run in that inning and another in the fifth on a double play after he had allowed a double and a single to open the inning. The outing was a step in the right direction for Lynn, who has had trouble with his command this season since getting a late start to Spring Training after signing a one-year deal on March 13.
"Early on, I was trying to control everything and trying to be perfect and trying to show out on a new team," Lynn said. "I think that's a lot of it. Tonight was, 'Get out there and be yourself and attack and make them beat you.'"
Matt Magill threw two innings in relief of Lynn, giving up a solo homer to Tim Anderson but otherwise looking sharp. Phil Hughes pitched in relief for the first time this season, giving up a second homer to Anderson with two outs in the ninth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double play dodges trouble: It looked like it would be another rough outing for Lynn when he loaded the bases with one out in the first after allowing four straight hits that brought home one run. Despite falling behind Daniel Palka on a 3-1 count, Lynn induced a 6-3 double play to get out of the inning, and he rode that momentum the rest of the way. But he wasn't happy with himself as he went back to the dugout after the first.
"If I told you exactly what my mindset was, I'd probably get fined," Lynn said. "I just said, 'That's it. It's done. Now we've just got to keep going.' The offense was hot right out of the gate, so I just had to keep attacking and get them in the dugout so they could do their job."
The Twins scored at least two runs in three different innings for the first time this season.
HE SAID IT
"A triple is the most difficult hit in baseball. You have to hit in the good spot and run good. I didn't think too much about that. I just tried to have a good at-bat." -- Rosario, on falling a triple short of the cycle the night after James Dozier was a double shy of the cycle
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (1-1, 3.38 ERA) is set to start the series finale against the White Sox on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT at Guaranteed Rate Field. Gibson gave up two runs over five innings in a no-decision against the Blue Jays last time out. He's shown an increased ability to generate strikeouts this year with 36 in 32 innings. Right-hander James Shields (1-3, 5.35 ERA) starts for Chicago.