Twins homer twice, salvage split with White Sox

Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco homered to back five strong innings from Michael Pineda and boost the visiting Minnesota Twins to a 7-2 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Kepler and Polanco, who both also homered Tuesday, combined for five of the Twins’ 11 hits as Minnesota salvaged a split of the four-game series. Polanco went 3-for-4 and finished a triple short of the cycle.

Chicago stranded eight runners and went 2-for-8 with men in scoring position while grounding into four double plays.

Kepler opened the scoring while leading off the third inning, clanging a solo home run off the right field foul pole.

Adam Engel legged out an RBI infield single in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 1. The White Sox flashed their speed earlier in the inning, as Billy Hamilton doubled and stole third base before Tim Anderson walked and stole second.

Pineda, who has dealt with inconsistency and injury, earned his first victory since May 26. He yielded one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Pineda (4-5) threw 48 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

Minnesota relievers Tyler Duffey, Alex Colome and Caleb Thielbar limited the White Sox to one run over the final four innings.

Polanco’s three-run blast in the sixth provided valuable insurance for the Twins bullpen. Polanco delivered his 14th round-tripper of the season, connecting against Chicago reliever Codi Heuer with two outs.

White Sox starter Dylan Cease (7-6) scattered three runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. He fanned five.

After retiring the first two batters in the Minnesota fifth, Cease surrendered three consecutive hits, the last coming off the bat of Josh Donaldson, who grounded a two-run single up with middle to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

Cease is 1-4 with a 7.64 ERA in seven career starts against the Twins.

Chicago’s Andrew Vaughn had an RBI double in the eighth inning and joined Anderson and Hamilton with two hits each.

Yoan Moncada, who hit an eighth-inning double for the White Sox, has reached base in 24 of his past 25 games.

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