MINNEAPOLIS -- Kennys Vargas and Miguel Sano each homered, powering the Twins to a 9-7 win in a slugfest against the White Sox on Tuesday night at Target Field. Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak, after getting swept by Cleveland and losing its lead in the American League Central over the weekend.
Chicago hit three homers, including back-to-back shots from Avisail Garcia and Matt Davidson off Twins starter Ervin Santana in the third inning, the fifth time the White Sox have hit consecutive homers this year. Santana, who came in averaging 5.3 hits allowed per nine innings, allowed a season-high 10 hits in five innings, but still earned his ninth victory.
"We needed a win, and it was not how we drew it up," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "You scatter 16 hits, and find a way to win. I give the offense a lot of credit for putting runs on the board."
Sano clubbed his team-high 17th homer -- a two-run jack in the first with a projected distance of 425 feet, per Statcast™. It was his sixth homer of at least 425 feet this year. Vargas one-upped his fellow slugger with a 483-foot home run, the big blow during a five-run outburst in the third that chase left-hander Derek Holland. The White Sox starter allowed seven runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.
"These guys are paid to hit those mistakes, and hit the ball," Holland said. "Obviously, I gave out a few souvenirs and didn't do what I was supposed to do."
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and two doubles. It was his third career four-hit game, and his second against the Twins. Garcia notched his AL-best 11th three-hit game.
"We have some guys that are actually able to elevate and drive the ball out of the ballpark in Abreu and Avi and Davidson, any number of the guys that we have," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Hopefully, it's something we can use and take advantage of it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Escape job: Twins reliever Matt Belisle was tasked with getting one of the biggest outs. He entered in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs, attempting to preserve a one-run lead. Belisle threw two straight fastballs to Chicago catcher Kevan Smith, who fouled both away. Belisle then turned to the heater again, inducing a hard lineout to center, to get out of the inning unscathed. He then tossed a scoreless seventh. Entering Tuesday, Belisle had allowed 10 runs over his previous seven outings at Target Field.
"There were numerous times, they left 14 on base," Molitor said. "You are going to have guys make pitches at the right time to find a way to hold on."
Vargas' monster blast: Vargas delivered a deep homer into the second deck in left-center field off a 1-1 changeup from Holland during the five-run third. According to Statcast™, the ball traveled an estimated 483 feet with an exit velocity of 114.1 mph. It gave Minnesota a 6-4 lead, and was the longest homer by a Twin since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015.
"I've been working a lot on my right side," Vargas said. "Because I know the team needs me to start hitting on my right side. It's better for me and the team." More >
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Abreu has hit all 12 of his home runs this season on the road. Per STATS LLC, he is the first White Sox batter to hit his first dozen blasts of the season away from home.
Both team's center fielders made a great catch early. According to Statcast™, Minnesota's Byron Buxton's grab on a Tim Anderson lineout in the second was rated a four-star catch, as was Adam Engel's snag of a Robbie Grossman liner in the bottom of the first. Buxton is 13-for-14 on such catch opportunities, which leads the Majors. For Engel, it marked his first play of the year rated better than two stars.
White Sox: Left-hander David Holmberg (1-0, 2.63 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season when he faces the Twins at Target Field on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. In his last start Holmberg allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision at Baltimore.
Twins: Right-hander Jose Berrios (6-1, 2.74) will take the mound for the Twins on Wednesday. Berrios tossed eight innings of two-run ball in a win over Seattle last time out. He has pitched at least six innings in five of his seven starts this year, compared to one such performance over 14 outings last season.
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