MINNEAPOLIS - The Chicago White Sox already were enjoying quite a season despite missing two key players. Now with Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert back in the lineup, the AL Central leaders are looking even more formidable.
Jiménez hit two homers with five RBIs for the second straight game, Robert came off the 60-day injured list to deliver an RBI double and single, and the White Sox cruised past the Minnesota Twins 11-1 Monday night.
"Getting both those guys back is kind of a reminder of what they can do to help us," manager Tony La Russa said.
Tim Anderson led off the game with a home run for the second day in a row and Lucas Giolito pitched two-hit ball for eight innings as the White Sox won their fourth in a row.
Jiménez became the first White Sox player with consecutive games of at least two homers and five RBIs, and the first in the majors since Bryce Harper for Washington in 2015.
Jiménez has five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games since his return from the injured list after missing all of the season with a ruptured pectoral tendon sustained in spring training.
"Yes, I feel really good," Jiménez said of having his timing down at the plate.
Giolito (9-8) faced the minimum over the first seven innings. The first hit he allowed came on a hard grounder from Luis Arraez to start the fifth inning that glanced off Giolito’s leg.
Miguel Sanó homered off Giolito.
"It was a tough start for us and then when we would get in the batter’s box, Giolito was real sharp," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He has excellent stuff, real swing-and-miss stuff. Tonight was one of the nights where I think his command matched his stuff and he was just exceptionally difficult on us."
Beau Burrows (0-1) allowed seven runs — six earned — over two innings in his first career start. He was claimed off waivers from Detroit on June 22 and was recalled from Triple-A on July 27. His ERA rose to 13.91 in six appearances this season.
Anderson lined the fifth pitch of the game into the left-field seats. He opened Sunday night’s game at Wrigley Field with a home run, sending the White Sox toward a three-game sweep over the Cubs.
Jiménez hit a towering homer off the facing of the second deck above the batter’s eye in center field for a two-run homer in the first inning. He connected for a three-run drive in the second.
Yoán Moncada homered in the ninth for Chicago.
"You can’t underestimate when you get a start like that," La Russa said of the first-inning homers by Anderson and Jiménez. "They set a certain tempo for the game and our guys stayed hungry the whole time."
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Jiménez’s first-inning homer temporarily fooled the Statcast projection system. The ball ricocheted off the limestone facing and landed in the field of play. Statcast originally estimated the ball traveled 399 feet. After a change, the homer was estimated at 454 feet.
Before the game, Chicago announced that TV play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti will miss the team’s upcoming broadcasts after testing positive for COVID-19. Benetti, who recently worked Olympic baseball broadcasts for NBC, later tweeted that he is "mildly symptomatic" and plans to return soon. Mike Monaco is his replacement.
White Sox: Robert was out since May 4 with a right hip flexor strain. Gavin Sheets was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte and OF Luis González was released to make room on the 40-man roster for Robert’s return.
Twins: RHP Jorge Alcala was placed on the 10-day injured list with triceps tendinitis. Alcala has appeared in 45 games this season with a 5.11 ERA. Edgar García, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on July 30, was recalled from Triple-A St. Paul. García made his Twins debut on Monday with one run and one hit allowed in 2 1/3 innings. … 3B Josh Donaldson was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a right hamstring injury. … CF Byron Buxton, out since June 22 with a left hand fracture, completed a full workout on the field before the game. He ran, shagged flyballs and was expected to hit before the game.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-5, 4.44 ERA) will start for Chicago on Tuesday in the middle game of the series. Minnesota counters with RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 5.63). Keuchel has made three starts against the Twins this season with 11 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings. Jax has allowed just one run in each of his last three starts, spanning 14 1/3 innings.