MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe each homered during an eight-run third inning, and the Minnesota Twins went deep four times in an 11-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
Brian Dozier led off with his 34th homer, and Byron Buxton tacked on a two-run shot in the second against beleaguered starter James Shields (5-17). The Twins have 162 homers with 26 games to go, the most they’ve hit in six years with a pace to post their highest total since their championship season in 1987.
Hector Santiago (11-8) won for the first time in six starts since the Twins acquired him in late July from the Los Angeles Angels, finishing six innings with three runs allowed and six strikeouts.
Santiago was coming off his best performance with Minnesota — 6 1/3 scoreless innings at Cleveland. The left-hander cruised through this one after allowing a leadoff home run to Adam Eaton. Santiago for gave up four hits and three walks, boosted by an 11-2 lead he took into the fourth.
Shields — also a midseason acquisition — kept on struggling. Shipped east by the San Diego Padres in early June, he is 3-10 in 17 starts for the White Sox. Shields has a 7.50 ERA with his new club, averaging exactly five innings per turn.
Shields was checked by a team athletic trainer following a leadoff walk to Plouffe in the third and pulled with one out. He was charged with five runs after giving up four walks and five hits, including a two-run smash by Sano that landed in the third deck above left field. The White Sox needed two more relievers to finish the inning, capped by a three-run shot by Plouffe.
Max Kepler had two doubles among his three hits, Dozier stole two bases and Buxton went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles to go with his soaring home run.
With Eaton and Dozier going deep, this was the fourth time in the majors this season that both leadoff batters homered.
The Twins recalled catcher John Ryan Murphy from Triple-A Rochester, a chance for him to improve upon the 3-for-40 start to the season that prompted his demotion. Acquired from the New York Yankees for outfielder Aaron Hicks in a winter trade, Murphy hit .236 with 39 RBIs in 83 games for Rochester.
White Sox: Rookie SS Tim Anderson returned to the lineup after a day off for a bruised right calf muscle.
Twins: RHP Trevor May (back) and LHP Tommy Milone (biceps) threw in the bullpen before the game and are set to face live batters in a session on Tuesday.
The White Sox will send RHP Anthony Ranuado (1-1, 8.76 ERA) to the mound on Sunday for the finale of the four-game series, with LHP Andrew Albers (0-0, 6.97 ERA) set to take the mound for the Twins. Ranuado will make his fifth start. Albers finished only two innings in his previous turn earlier this week.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.