Kepler’s bases-loaded walk in 13th lifts Twins past Sox 2-1
CHICAGO (AP) — It took them nearly five hours to finish it, but the Minnesota Twins finally picked up a much-needed win in Chicago.
Max Kepler drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded in the 13th inning for the Twins, who outlasted the White Sox 2-1 on Thursday afternoon for just their second victory in the last seven games.
The Twins pushed across the go-ahead run after Logan Morrison doubled off left fielder Charlie Tilson’s glove. Hector Santiago (2-3), the sixth White Sox reliever, intentionally walked Ehire Adrianza before walking Jake Cave and Kepler.
“That was a good one to win, for sure, not only because we lost the first two but it was a marathon,” Morrison said.
The Twins salvaged the third game of the series against the White Sox and now move on to play three more contests in Chicago against the crosstown Cubs at Wrigley Field starting on Friday afternoon.
Alan Busenitz (2-0), the sixth reliever for Minnesota, pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory.
The Twins were one out from winning in the ninth inning, but closer Fernando Rodney walked pinch-hitter Daniel Palka, a former Twins farmhand, on four pitches to force in a run. Rodney quickly retired the first two hitters, but Yolmer Sanchez singled to start the rally. Rodney hit Tim Anderson with a pitch, and Tilson walked to load the bases before Palka came to the plate.
Rodney took his fourth blown save in 21 chances this season, ending a streak of 15 consecutive conversions.
“I told him postgame, ‘That’s a heck of a run,’” manager Paul Molitor said. “Today it was a two-out bloop and a change-up that he lost command of. Then he started scrambling a bit.”
Morrison hit his ninth home run deep to right to lead off the seventh for the first run of the game. The drive was just Minnesota’s second hit off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who didn’t allow any hits until Eddie Rosario lined a double off first baseman Jose Abreu’s glove with one out in the sixth.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi tossed six shutout innings in his best outing in more than a month, allowing three hits and striking out eight. The righty, who was 0-3 with an 8.77 ERA in his last six turns, said he’s been “making adjustments from start to start.” The White Sox hardly threatened to score when he was on the mound.
WALKS IN THE PARK
Giolito recovered after walking the bases loaded in the first for his lowest-scoring outing this season. The 6-foot-6 righty, who lowered his ERA from 7.01 to 6.59, allowed one run on four hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He has issued the most walks in the AL with 51.
Giolito escaped the first without allowing a run despite throwing just 11 of his first 26 pitches for strikes. Then he retired 13 straight Twins betters.
“I honestly didn’t have my rhythm until the last batter of the” first inning, Giolito said. “I did a pretty good job of filling the strike zone after that first inning. They put a lot of balls in play, and the defense was great behind me.”
Giolito said he was “kind of” paying attention to his no-hit bid when it reached the sixth inning. “I probably would have been more aware of it if I had taken it to the seventh or eighth,” he said.
BOOTED FOR BAD WORDS
Anderson, Chicago’s shortstop, was ejected for the second time in his career in the 11th inning when he argued with umpire Gerry Davis after being caught stealing second. “I kind of said some bad words,” Anderson said.
Twins: RF Taylor Motter hit the wall hard trying to catch Yoan Moncada’s double in the sixth and will be re-evaluated for chest soreness. Motter stayed down on the warning track for a couple of minutes while being tended to by a team athletic trainer, but he remained in the game until Kepler pinch hit for him in the seventh. ... SS Jorge Polanco, almost done with an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, was scheduled to DH in one game and play SS in the other in a doubleheader for Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He can be reinstated on July 5.
White Sox: Sanchez left the game with a bruised left quadriceps in the 13th after tripping on first base when he ran out a grounder. He’s day-to-day. ... Manager Rick Renteria said OF Nicky Delmonico (broken right middle finger) will start swinging a bat soon, but he isn’t close to beginning a rehab assignment.
Twins: Ace RHP Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.15) takes the mound against LHP Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.39) when the Twins meet the Cubs on Friday. Berrios has won his last three decisions over five starts in June and has a 2.10 ERA during the span.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (3-2, 3.45) faces RHP Yovani Gallardo when Chicago opens a three-game series at Texas on Friday. Covey left in the fifth inning of his previous start last Saturday with a right hip flexor strain, but after throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday he said he felt fine.
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