Eddie Rosario went 4 for 5 with three RBIs and one of Minnesota’s three home runs in another power-packed romp by the major league-leading Twins, who beat the Chicago White Sox 11-4 on Friday night for their ninth win in their last 10 games.
Max Kepler was 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a homer and Miguel Sanó also went deep for the Twins (34-16), who reached double-digit runs for the fourth time in their last eight games and became only the second team in baseball history to hit the 100-homer mark in just 50 games. They have the most runs (300) in the majors.
Jose Berrios (7-2) was the latest beneficiary of the big swings, after falling behind 4-1. Rosario tied the game in the third with his 15th homer. Two batters later, Sanó swatted a 2-2 changeup from Reynaldo López (3-5) into the seats for his fifth long ball in seven games this season since coming off the injured list.
Tim Anderson went 3 for 3 and Yonder Alonso drove in two runs for the White Sox.
The Twins arrived home from a seven-game West Coast road swing extended by one day due to a rare California rainout in good spirits and in even better shape in the standings, winning three out of four in Seattle against the Mariners before sweeping the Los Angeles Angels. After outscoring their opponents 67-27 during the trip, the Twins built an eight-game lead in the American League Central over three-time defending division champion Cleveland. The Indians won Friday to keep pace.
If there was a nit to pick, that was in the second when shortstop Jorge Polanco sidearmed a throw to first base after fielding a routine grounder by Eloy Jimenez and watched it sail over C.J. Cron’s head for an error. That triggered a four-run inning against Berrios, though three of them were unearned.
The last three starts by Berrios have been his worst three of 11 turns, with 29 hits and 13 runs allowed over 17 innings.
Seattle, with 600 home run club members Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup in 1999, was the only team in history to reach triple-digit homers in 50 games, with 102, until the Twins joined them. The major league season record was set by the New York Yankees last year with 267.
Lucas Giolito’s four-hit shutout that beat powerhouse Houston on Thursday, his first career complete game, didn’t create any momentum for López. The right-hander failed to finish the fourth inning, allowing eight runs for the second time this season and pushing his ERA to 6.03. López allowed only two earned runs over his last two turns, but Giolito has been a tough solo act to follow. Even factoring in his 6-1 record and 2.77 ERA, White Sox starters entered the game with the second-worst ERA and the second-most walks in the American League.
White Sox: Catcher Welington Castillo took a foul ball off the top of his mask in the eighth inning and was removed from the game.
Twins: DH Nelson Cruz was eligible for reinstatement from the injured list, but the Twins opted for caution with his strained left wrist.
White Sox: LHP Manny Banuelos (2-3, 7.26 ERA) was slated to come off the injured list and start on Saturday afternoon after the minimum 10-day stay. He was shelved with a strained left shoulder.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-2, 4.47) will take the mound in the middle game of the series. He’s 7-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 92 innings over 14 career starts against the White Sox.