MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Donaldson returned from the injured list with two hits and two RBIs for the Minnesota Twins, who backed José Berríos with three home runs and beat the Chicago White Sox 8-1 on Wednesday night.
Jake Cave and Miguel Sanó hit solo shots, Eddie Rosario had a two-run homer and Berríos (3-3) pitched six sharp innings for the Twins. Two of Chicago’s four errors directly contributed to Minnesota’s highest score in 19 games.
White Sox starter Reynaldo López (0-2) struggled again, getting only five outs before Donaldson’s two-run double in the second prompted a call to the bullpen. Chicago (22-15) fell one game behind AL Central leader Cleveland (23-14), with Minnesota (22-16) in third place, 1 1/2 games back.
López has logged just 9 2/3 innings in four turns this season, having missed about a month because of shoulder soreness. He managed to keep the Twins from scoring after loading the bases with no outs in the first, but Cave took him deep in the next inning on a drive that grazed the glove of center fielder Luis Robert as the rookie tried to snag it over the wall in front of the bullpen. With no crowd noise, the first sign the ball was gone came from a Twins reliever who thrust both arms in the air from behind the fence.
The Twins stopped a six-game losing streak Tuesday, directly boosted by the return of starting pitcher Michael Pineda from suspension and center fielder Byron Buxton from a sore shoulder.
Donaldson, the marquee winter addition for the Twins on a $92 million contract, missed exactly half of the 60-game season with a calf strain that has dogged him in the past. He was only 4 for 22 with four walks in seven games before getting hurt.
Just as Donaldson came back, the Twins watched two more regulars leave early with new injuries. Right fielder Max Kepler was removed after the second inning with tightness in his left groin, and second baseman Luis Arraez hobbled off the field after reaching base in the sixth and hurting his lower right leg. Minnesota catcher Alex Avila was scratched before the game began with lower back tightness.
Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven worked his final game as a television analyst for the Twins, who will continue to employ the former curveball specialist and noted ballpark prankster as a special assistant for spring training instruction and various public appearances.
Blyleven, in his 25th year in the booth after spending 11 of his 22 major league seasons with the Twins over two stints, had his uniform number (28) retired by the club in 2011. Justin Morneau has been the analyst most often paired with play-by-play announcer Dick Bremer this year, with fellow former Twins Roy Smalley and Jack Morris also taking turns.
White Sox: Yoán Moncada returned from a three-game absence due to discomfort in the back of his lower left leg. “Our training staff has found a way to try to manage it,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Twins: Avila was replaced behind the plate and in the lineup by rookie Ryan Jeffers. Regular catcher Mitch Garver missed his 13th straight game because of a strained muscle on his right side.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Cease (4-2, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound Thursday to begin a four-game series at Kansas City. LHP Danny Duffy (2-2, 4.11 ERA) pitches for the Royals.
Twins: After an off day on Thursday, Detroit visits Target Field for a five-game series starting with a doubleheader Friday. RHP Randy Dobnak (5-2, 3.12 ERA) pitches the opener for Minnesota opposite LHP Matthew Boyd (1-4, 7.27). Starters are to be determined for the nightcap, which is a postponement from last weekend at Comerica Park in which the Tigers will be the home team.
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)