MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas each hit a long home run to help the Minnesota Twins bounce back from a demoralizing sweep by beating the Chicago White Sox, 9-7, on Tuesday night.
Sano hit his 17th homer and Vargas added a three-run shot as the Twins overcame a rough outing from Ervin Santana (9-4), who gave up six runs on 10 hits and struck out six in five innings. Brandon Kintzler pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 21 tries.
Jose Abreu went 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles, and Avisail Garcia had a homer and two RBIs for the White Sox. Derek Holland (5-7) allowed seven runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings for Chicago.
The Twins won for just the 15th time in 39 games at Target Field, tied with the White Sox for fewest home wins in the American League. This one was much-needed after Cleveland took four straight at Target Field to sweep the Twins out of first place in the AL Central last weekend.
Sano got things started for the Twins with a two-run shot in the first inning, and Vargas’s 483-foot drive landed in the second deck in left-center field to highlight a five-run third that put Minnesota up 7-4. Only Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (495 feet) and Milwaukee’s Keon Broxton (489 feet) have hit longer home runs this season, according to MLB’s Statcast.
The White Sox pulled to 8-7 on Abreu’s solo homer in the sixth, but they left 14 runners on base and Garcia made two errors in right field in the eighth to give the Twins a little cushion.
Twins LHP Hector Santiago will make a rehab start for Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday. He is scheduled to throw four innings or 60 pitches.
Phil Hughes appears headed back to a relief role for the time being.
Hughes is scheduled to join Rochester on Wednesday and pitch one inning of relief as the Twins look for ways to utilize him without taxing his arm. He has been on the disabled list with biceps inflammation since May 22.
Hughes pitched out of the bullpen early in his career with the New York Yankees, making 44 appearances in 2009, but hasn’t done it extensively since 2011. Twins manager Paul Molitor said moving Hughes to the bullpen is the only remedy they see that could work right now.
“As far as long term how we are going to get him stretched out, that’s still a question for us,” Molitor said. “In the short term, he has a chance to help us in shorter stints.”
GEE ON BOARD
The pitching-starved Twins reached a verbal agreement with right-hander Dillon Gee on a minor league deal.
The 31-year-old Gee chose free agency after being outrighted by Texas last weekend. He had a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings for the Rangers this season. He was coming off thoracic outlet syndrome and will report to Rochester.
White Sox: LHP David Holmberg (1-0, 2.63 ERA) pitches the second game of the series. He is 1-0 with a 3.71 ERA in four starts this season.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (6-1, 2.74) gets the ball. The 22-year-old Berrios has gone at least six innings in five of his seven starts and is coming off of a career-high eight innings in a win over Seattle last week.
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