MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jose Berrios pitched a gem to help push the Twins past the White Sox, 11-1, on Wednesday night at Target Field. Minnesota's third straight victory pulled it within one game of the Yankees for the first American League Wild Card spot.The Twins are one game ahead of
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jose Berrios pitched a gem to help push the Twins past the White Sox, 11-1, on Wednesday night at Target Field. Minnesota's third straight victory pulled it within one game of the Yankees for the first American League Wild Card spot.
The Twins are one game ahead of the Angels for the second Wild Card spot, while the Orioles are 1 1/2 back.
Berrios, who faced Chicago for the second straight outing, tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits. Berrios matched his career high with 11 strikeouts and had one walk, while lowering his ERA to 3.80. Berrios also struck out 11 on May 18 against Colorado.
"It was a really good game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I thought Jose threw one of his better games. He's had some impressive ones along the way, but when you look at the command and strikeouts, he seemed to get stronger."
Eddie Rosario supported Berrios' gem with a pair of home runs -- a two-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the seventh. It was the 10th multi-homer game of the season by a Twin, and the third for Rosario. Ehire Adrianza went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, James Dozier collected four hits, matching his career high, and Mitch Garver went 3-for-4, a homer shy of the cycle.
• Plate discipline leading to results for Rosario
White Sox left-hander Derek Holland gave up five runs, taking his 14th loss. He allowed eight hits across five innings, struck out four and walked four. Avisail Garcia (3-for-4 with a triple) notched half of the four hits off Berrios with a pair of singles.
• Facing Twins again, Holland can't adjust
"Have to give these guys credit, they are a good ballclub and in the Wild Card," Holland said. "You have to continue to battle against these guys. After just seeing them six days ago, they made some adjustments, and I didn't quite make my adjustments when I needed to."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rosario goes deep: Rosario launched a 2-2 fastball from Holland over the left-field wall in the third. According to Statcast™, Rosario's 19th homer traveled an estimated 364 feet with an exit velocity of 96.9 mph. It was just the second time this season Rosario went deep off a left-handed pitcher, and the sixth time in his career. It marked the first time Rosario recorded an opposite-field homer off a lefty in his career.
"A home run is a home run," Holland said. "I can try to sit here and make excuses of the weather, but at the end of the day, he hit the ball over the fence, and that's just how it goes. You have to tip your hat to him."
Berrios escapes: Chicago threatened in the fourth after Rosario's two-run blast gave Minnesota a 3-0 lead. After starting the inning with a strikeout, Berrios hit Jose Abreu and allowed a single to Garcia, before recording another strikeout. Berrios walked the bases loaded to set the stage for Tim Anderson. However, Anderson swung through an 0-2 four-seamer from Berrios for an inning-ending strikeout.
"I felt good," Berrios said. "I just kept thinking I didn't want to lose another game to them. That's what I went out there and did, and stayed positive the whole day."
"This team is hungry for the playoffs. We want to make the postseason. We're trying to have a good year. That's the goal." -- Rosario, on the Twins, who are 19-10 in August
• Buxton (hand) exits early, to be reevaluated
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was credited with a four-star catch by Statcast™ for his running grab to rob Adam Engel of extra bases in the fifth. Buxton had 4.2 seconds to cover 68 feet, giving it a catch percentage of 49 percent. He reached a sprint speed of 29.7 feet per second, while improving to a Major League-best 24-for-25 on four-star catch opportunities.
Engel answered back with a four-star catch of his own in the bottom of the inning. Engel traveled 75 feet in 4.6 seconds to snag a potential extra-base hit from Rosario. According to Statcast™, Rosario's lineout had a 41-percent hit probability. Engel has now recorded eight four-star catches on the season in 12 tries.
White Sox: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.30 ERA) is slated to start Thursday's series finale at 12:10 p.m. CT. Gonzalez has recorded four straight quality starts, going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over that span. In five career starts against Minnesota, Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 4.25 ERA.
Twins: Right-hander Bartolo Colon (6-10, 6.35) is set to start the series finale against the White Sox on Thursday. Colon allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings against the Blue Jays last time out, and has posted a 3.21 ERA in five August starts.
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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis and covered the White Sox on Wednesday.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.