CHICAGO - Eloy Jiménez and Gavin Sheets homered during Chicago’s five-run first inning, and the White Sox beat Pablo López and the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Saturday night.
Touki Toussaint struck out eight in five effective innings as lowly Chicago stopped a four-game slide. Tim Anderson had three hits and started a key double play in the seventh.
Minnesota had won three of four. With the loss and Cleveland’s 2-1 victory over Texas, the Twins’ magic number for clinching the AL Central title remained at seven.
López (10-8) allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings, falling to 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA in his last 10 starts. The right-hander was coming off a dominant performance against the New York Mets, striking out a career-high 14 in eight scoreless innings in Minnesota’s 2-0 loss last weekend.
Tanner Banks and Carlos Perez of the Chicago White Sox celebrate the 7-6 win against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 16, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
The Twins pulled within one on Kyle Farmer’s bases-loaded walk with two out in the ninth. But Tanner Banks earned his first career save when Willi Castro fouled out to first baseman Andrew Vaughn.
López had a rough stretch in the first, and Chicago capitalized. With two outs and Anderson on second, Jiménez hit a drive to left-center for his 17th homer. Following singles by Yoán Moncada and Andrew Vaughn, Sheets got a hanging curveball on an 0-2 pitch and drove it over the wall in right for his 10th homer and a 5-1 lead.
Toussaint (4-7) allowed three hits and walked one, bouncing back nicely after a shaky performance against Kansas City. He was tagged for eight runs in one inning in Chicago’s 11-10 loss to the Royals on Tuesday.
Minnesota wasted scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh before rallying with four runs in the eighth against Gregory Santos. Carlos Correa hit an RBI single and scored on a two-out error on Vaughn.
Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli is going on paternity leave to be with his wife, Allie, for the birth of twin boys in the coming days.
White Sox prospect Jacob Gonzalez visited with manager Pedro Grifol before the game. Gonzalez was the No. 15 pick in this year’s amateur draft out of Ole Miss. The 21-year-old shortstop hit .211 with a homer and 17 RBIs in 34 games in his first stint in the minors.
"Coming from college to the minors, it’s nice to be done with school and focus on baseball every day," Gonzalez said. "I like playing every day."
Right-handers Sonny Gray (7-7, 2.96 ERA) and Dylan Cease (7-7, 4.87) are set for the series finale Sunday. Gray is 0-1 with a 2.12 ERA in his last three starts for Minnesota. Cease pitched 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball in Chicago’s 6-2 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday.