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Trio of early HRs leads Twins past White Sox

May 11, 2017

CHICAGO -- The Twins jumped to a six-run lead after two innings and held on for a 7-6 victory over the White Sox on Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.All four runs scored off White Sox starter Derek Holland in the first were unearned courtesy of a Jose Abreu missed

CHICAGO -- The Twins jumped to a six-run lead after two innings and held on for a 7-6 victory over the White Sox on Thursday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
All four runs scored off White Sox starter Derek Holland in the first were unearned courtesy of a Jose Abreu missed catch on what would have been an inning-ending double play off the bat of Jorge Polanco. Joe Mauer followed with a run-scoring single, and Eduardo Escobar crushed a three-run blast to left to complete the four-run uprising. Escobar finished 2-for-3 with a walk and four RBIs against his former team.
"Guys don't take it as a deflating moment," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Abreu's error. "It's not the best moment to have, but it's not a deflating moment for them because as you can see they kept fighting."
• White Sox show heart in comeback vs. Twins
"I still have to make pitches after that no matter what happens," Holland said. "I know what the situation was, but overall, I feel like it's my fault more than anything. I didn't execute the pitches after that, and that's what put us in that bigger hole."

Holland had given up three home runs in his first six starts, but he was touched for three in five innings Thursday, with Escobar, James Dozier and Miguel Sano connecting. The White Sox scored two in the fourth and three in the third -- all coming through a Melky Cabrera home run -- to chase Twins starter Phil Hughes. Matt Davidson also went deep leading off the sixth.
The loss was the fifth straight for the White Sox, while the Twins improved to 9-4 on the road.
"It was a good win because we had to fight," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "A lot of guys contributed offensively, and the bullpen did a great job closing it out."

The Great Escape: The White Sox had a chance to tie the game in the eighth after Twins reliever Matt Belisle issued one-out walks to Davidson and Tim Anderson and the runners moved up a base on closer Brandon Kintzler's wild pitch. But Kintzler struck out Omar Narvaez on a 3-2 pitch and then fanned Leury Garcia to preserve the one-run lead. The right-hander went on to record the first five-out save of his career with a perfect ninth inning.
"In that situation, if I walked a guy, I wasn't worried about it, because I was still a ground ball away," Kintzler said. "On the wild pitch, I slipped on the landing. But the changeup [to Narvaez], I started working on it yesterday and basically made it up. So I thought it was a good situation to try it." More >

Being too aggressive: With the White Sox having already scored twice in the fourth to cut the Twins' lead to 6-2, Davidson cut the rally short by getting thrown out trying to go from first to third on Anderson's single to left. Davidson had the play in front of him, but left fielder Eddie Rosario threw him out with relative ease on a strong throw to Sano.
"It was a little too aggressive for me as a slower runner," Davidson said. "Kind of saw the ball going, then put my head down and went instead of checking again, which I should have done.
"Just trying to be aggressive. That guy throws really well. He had like 16 assists last year and made some good throws tonight, but you know, if that ball is off the money a little, a little closer play and we're there. But it was a little too aggressive."

"For some reason that kind of looked good to me and I got my barrel to it. I don't know if I ever got the barrel up that high, but I'll take it." -- Davidson, on hitting Tyler Duffey's a 0-2 fastball, which was up in the zone, for a home run

With Escobar's homer in the first, the Twins extended their streak to 12 straight games with a homer, which is their longest such streak since also homering in 12 consecutive games from July 14-26, 2002.
White Sox reliever Anthony Swarzak remains close to unhittable. The right-hander threw two scoreless innings Thursday, raising his scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings over 13 appearances. His stretch of consecutive hitters retired ended at 18, though, when he walked Robbie Grossman to lead off the seventh, but of the last 40 hitters faced by Swarzak, only one has a hit and just two have reached base.
Byron Buxton was ruled safe on a slow roller to Abreu leading off the second inning, with his head-first slide barely beating the throw to Holland covering the base. White Sox manager Rick Renteria challenged the call, and video replay overturned the original decision for an out.

Twins: The Twins head to Cleveland for a three-game series that begins on Friday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Ervin Santana (5-1, 1.72 ERA) starts for the Twins and is coming off his first subpar outing of the year, allowing six runs, including four homers, in a loss to the Red Sox.
White Sox:Miguel Gonzalez (3-2, 3.18) gets the call for the series opener against the Padres on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. CT. Gonzalez is 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA over his last two starts.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and listen to his podcast.