MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hector Santiago got out of a big jam. Then he got out of his former home ballpark with a victory.
Tim Anderson had two hits and drove in three runs and Santiago earned the win against his former team as the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Santiago (2-2), who pitched for Minnesota the past two seasons, allowed just two runs on six hits in five innings pitched. And after giving up five home runs combined in his last two starts, the left-hander was able to keep the ball in the park against Minnesota.
Santiago also gave the White Sox big lift when he held the Twins to just one run in an inning that began with a single and two doubles.
Robbie Grossman led off the second inning with a base hit and moved to third on Mitch Garver’s double. Ehire Adrianza followed with a towering drive off the wall in center field. He ended up with a double, but Garver got a bad read on the ball and only advanced one base.
Still, the Twins were threatening with two runners in scoring position and no outs.
“Second and third with nobody out, my mindset was just, ‘Get a sac fly right here and keep it right here,'” Santiago said.
But he did better than that. Ryan LaMarre hit a sharp grounder to third base that didn’t allow the runners to advance. Then Brian Dozier hit a one-hopper up the middle that Santiago stabbed. Garver was retired in a rundown, and then Santiago got red-hot Eddie Rosario to fly out to end the inning.
“Situational hitting,” said a frustrated Twins manager Paul Molitor. “You get a couple of ground balls but don’t score. Those are huge runs early. A chance maybe to knock a pitcher out of the game. . We had him 70 pitches after three innings. We made him work. We just didn’t take advantage in that inning in particular to put a crooked number up.”
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi (3-3) labored through five innings before a bad break led to a big White Sox rally in the sixth. Yolmer Sanchez led off with a single, but Jose Abreu fell behind 0-2 before tapping a grounder just to the left of second base.
Unfortunately for the Twins, shortstop Adrianza was shifted far over toward third base, playing Abreu to pull. He scrambled to his left and tried to make a play, but the ball kicked out of his glove and both runners were safe. Abreu was credited with a single, and Odorizzi was left scratching his head about the defensive alignment behind him.
“I automatically thought it was a double play,” Odorizzi said. “When you’re playing that far over, it’s a tough play for him to run over and just try to get an out, not even turn a double play. I think it’s just something that really can’t happen in that situation. We have to be able to turn a double play when you have a double play situation.”
Four relievers combined to shut down the Twins after Santiago’s departure. Joakim Soria pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Santiago fared much better than he did in his first appearance against his ex-teammates. The Twins knocked him around for eight runs in 3 1/3 innings on May 5 in his second start of the season.
“They beat the crap out of me last time in Chicago, so it was nice to come back here and get a win against them,” Santiago said. “It’s fun facing those guys, being out there and having a good time. I dropped down and threw some sidearm pitches today. Dozier’s like, ‘Is that the first time you’ve done that?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re the first person I threw a sidearm too.’ You have some good fun.”
The Twins had a four-run eighth inning in the first game of the series, but they’ve scored just four runs total in the other 26 innings. Bad base running, physical and mental errors in the field, and fruitless at-bats have left the Twins sputtering against the last-place White Sox.
“I try to be positive most times, but that’s just not good baseball,” said Molitor, whose team had just taken three straight from first-place Cleveland. “They’ve outplayed us. We talked about it, they’ve run aggressively, they’ve made more plays defensively. We had one good inning, in the first game (Tuesday).”
Twins: 1B Logan Morrison (back) came off the bench to pinch hit in the ninth inning after missing Tuesday’s doubleheader with a stiff back.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (1-6, 4.48 ERA) will take the mound in the series finale Thursday afternoon. Shields no-hit the Twins for 6 1/3 innings but received a no-decision on May 6 in Chicago. He’s pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.
Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (6-5, 3.86) is already 2-0 against the White Sox this year. He struck out 11 Chicago batters over seven shutout innings in a 4-0 win at Target Field on April 12.
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