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Twins' normally reliable bullpen can't hold lead

Rogers allows tying run in 8th, then Hildenberger gives up game-winner
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

CHICAGO -- On his walk back to his locker after his postgame shower, rookie reliever Trevor Hildenberger made sure to walk by veteran right-hander Ervin Santana and give him a fist-bump.

Unfortunately for Hildenberger and the Twins, it wasn't a celebratory one, as the White Sox rallied for two late runs, including a walk-off RBI single from Tim Anderson off Hildenberger in the ninth in a disappointing 4-3 loss. But it was a sign of solidarity between the starting rotation and the bullpen that they both have each others' backs in the crucial stretch run coming up for the Twins, who remain in the thick of the American League Wild Card chase.

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CHICAGO -- On his walk back to his locker after his postgame shower, rookie reliever Trevor Hildenberger made sure to walk by veteran right-hander Ervin Santana and give him a fist-bump.

Unfortunately for Hildenberger and the Twins, it wasn't a celebratory one, as the White Sox rallied for two late runs, including a walk-off RBI single from Tim Anderson off Hildenberger in the ninth in a disappointing 4-3 loss. But it was a sign of solidarity between the starting rotation and the bullpen that they both have each others' backs in the crucial stretch run coming up for the Twins, who remain in the thick of the American League Wild Card chase.

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Santana pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, but a bullpen that had a 3.05 ERA in August, couldn't hold a one-run lead.

"It's tough," Santana said. "Those guys have been doing a great job for us the entire year. But you don't point any fingers and as long as they keep doing what they've been doing, we'll be fine."

Santana was lifted after 91 pitches after mutually agreeing with manager Paul Molitor and pitching coach Neil Allen to come out of the game after a stressful seventh that saw Santana work out of a jam after walking a batter and hitting another to open the frame.

Video: MIN@CWS: Santana fans eight in seven dominant innings

In the eighth, Molitor went with lefty Taylor Rogers, who hadn't pitched since Friday, as they've tried to ease his heavy workload. After a strikeout, Rogers got ahead of Leury Garcia, 0-2, but missed with a fastball, leading to a one-out double. He also had Yoan Moncada down 0-2, only to give up the game-tying RBI single on a 2-2 curveball.

Video: MIN@CWS: Rogers strikes out Hanson to start the 8th

"I thought we had some good matchups the last couple innings but we couldn't put guys away with two strikes," Molitor said. "It's hard to say [if he was rusty]. You don't want to second-guess. He got the first out and was up 0-2 on the next guy and I'm not sure if they tried to go in or up with that fastball, but 0-2 doubles hurt. He got ahead of Moncada, but the breaking ball, he got enough of it to get it down the line."

Hildenberger got the ninth and promptly gave up a single on a 3-2 changeup to Avisail Garcia. Hildenberger said falling behind 2-0 was his biggest regret because it allowed Garcia to see his changeup several times. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, Anderson singled just past a diving Jorge Polanco at short to give the Twins the hard-luck loss.

"I got the ground ball I was looking for but it happened to find a hole tonight," Hildenberger said. "It's a tough loss. Erv went seven strong and left with the lead. We want to win those games, especially when we have the lead late. With the way the bullpen has been throwing, that's a game we want to win, for sure."

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

Minnesota Twins, Trevor Hildenberger