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Escobar (2 HRs), Dozier lead Twins' slugfest

May 4, 2018

CHICAGO -- Maybe all it took was a small lineup tweak for the Twins to break out offensively in a 6-4 win over the White Sox on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field.After James Dozier was moved out of the leadoff spot for the first time since July 30, 2016, he

CHICAGO -- Maybe all it took was a small lineup tweak for the Twins to break out offensively in a 6-4 win over the White Sox on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
After James Dozier was moved out of the leadoff spot for the first time since July 30, 2016, he snapped out of a 3-for-42 funk by tripling in the first and homering in the third off White Sox starter Carson Fulmer. Eduardo Escobar also brought the power with a pair of homers and an RBI double, while Logan Morrison followed Escobar's second homer by crushing a shot in the third -- the first time the Twins have hit back-to-back homers this season.

"Can't say if it has anything to do with the switch," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Sometimes it might take pressure off, but [Dozier] had a good night. The triple, the homer and [he] got another hit. Just trying to get the offense flowing a little bit. We'll see how we go moving forward."
Escobar sparked the offense with his homer to open the second, which left the bat at 104.6 mph and went a projected 420 feet to right, per Statcast™. Ryan LaMarre brought home a second run with an RBI single after Ehire Adrianza singled and reached second on a passed ball.

In the third, the Twins hit three homers in an inning for the first time this season, with Dozier leading off with his fifth homer of the year and his first since April 4. It had an exit velocity of 101.5 mph and went a projected 399 feet to left.
"I'll hit anywhere," Dozier said of the lineup change. "Last night, I feel like I probably hit a little better. But this is a park that's conducive to hitting some out and extra-base hits. No matter what happens, if you're feeling good, you're still attacking the baseball, that's all that matters."

Three batters later, Escobar went deep for the second time on an 0-2 fastball that caught too much of the plate, marking his third career multi-homer game. It also gave him the team lead in homers with six, one more than Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and Dozier.
"I'm not a home-run hitter," Escobar said. "When I come to home plate, I'm looking for a quality at-bat. Swing hard at the ball. But I don't come to home plate thinking about home runs. I'm surprised, with two homers today. But I did it last year, too. I'm so happy. If you hit two home runs, it's a good day."

Morrison's was a no-doubter, with an exit velocity of 108.9 mph and a projected 424-foot distance to center. It was a good sign from the designated hitter, who is starting to snap out of his early season funk -- he went 3-for-4 with a homer and a triple on Thursday.

The offense backed right-hander Jose Berrios, who gave up four runs on six hits and two walks over six innings to get his first win since April 12. Berrios struggled with his command and allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu in the first to extend a streak to nine straight innings of giving up at least one run. He also surrendered a triple to Yolmer Sanchez that led to a run in the third and a solo shot to Leury Garcia in the fourth.
"Today wasn't that good, but my team supported me in runs, so it worked out and we got the win," Berrios said through an interpreter. "I only made three mistakes tonight, the two homers and the other extra-base hit."
Relievers Zach Duke, Thomas Pressly, Trevor Hildenberger and closer Fernando Rodney combined to throw three scoreless innings to preserve the win, which snapped an eight-game road losing streak.

"It wasn't easy," Molitor said. "There was tension there at the end, baserunners. Had to navigate through the seventh and eighth. I thought the relievers did a nice job across the board."
Twins escape two jams: White Sox home run leader Matt Davidson came up with the bases loaded and two outs in both the fifth and seventh innings, but the Twins were able to wriggle out of both jams. Berrios got Davidson to ground out to third to end the fifth, while Pressly struck him out swinging to end the seventh.
"You're going to have people out there from time to time," Molitor said. "You have to figure out how to get off the field."

Not counting the Puerto Rico series, which counted as home games for the Twins, they went exactly a month without winning a road game, as their last road win came on April 4 against the Pirates at PNC Park.
"I really wasn't thinking too much about it, but Rosario came up to me as I'm going on deck and says, 'Hey, are you going to hit a double?' It wasn't carrying, that last one. So yeah, I choked." -- Dozier, joking about falling a double short of the cycle after flying to shallow center in his final at-bat
The Twins lost a challenge in the fourth, when Jason Castro was ruled out at home as he tried to advance from second on a single to center field from Max Kepler. Garcia's throw home easily beat Castro, but the Twins thought he might've beat the tag by catcher Omar Narvaez. After a review, the call was confirmed and the out ended the inning.

Right-hander Lance Lynn (0-3, 8.37 ERA) will be looking for his first win and his first quality start of the season when he takes the mound against the White Sox on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT in the third game of the four-game set at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lynn has allowed at least five runs in four of his five starts this season while walking 23 batters in 23 2/3 innings. The White Sox will start a familiar face in lefty Hector Santiago, who pitched with Minnesota in 2016 and '17.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.