Polanco lifts Twins to 6-4 victory over White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS—Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco loves facing Chicago White Sox pitchers.
Polanco has hit nine home runs this season. Seven of those have come against Chicago, including two in Minnesota's 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday.
Polanco's bat was one of several highlights for Minnesota in the series-opening victory.
Byron Buxton continued his hot August with an early RBI, and Eduardo Escobar drove in a pair of runs to back a strong start from right-hander Ervin Santana.
Minnesota (68-63) won for the third time in four games to keep its hold on the second American League wild-card spot.
Polanco went deep from both sides of the plate Tuesday for his first multi-homer game of his career. He became the fifth player in Twins history to hit home runs from each side of the plate, joining Roy Smalley, Chili Davis, Ryan Doumit and Kennys Vargas.
Santana (14-7) allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings while striking out seven.
James Shields (2-5) exited after giving up four runs in five innings. It was the first time Shields earned a decision in three starts against the Twins this season.
Jose Abreu went 4-for-4 for Chicago and drove in two runs.
After the White Sox cut Minnesota's lead to 5-3 with a pair of runs in the seventh, including an RBI double by Abreu, Polanco's second homer of the night gave the Twins' bullpen a bit more cushion.
Matt Belisle allowed a run in the ninth inning but still picked up his fifth save of the season.
Minnesota took the lead on a pair of first-inning runs. Eddie Rosario's tapper back to the mound could have ended the inning, but Shields' throw to second base was wide. Chicago was only able to get one out from the potential double-play ball, with Brian Dozier scoring from third on the play.
One batter later, Buxton delivered a sharp RBI single to center that scored Rosario to make it 2-0. Rosario had advanced to second during Buxton's at-bat on a wild pitch. The RBI was Buxton's 22nd of August—58 percent of the 38 runs he has driven in all season.
The Twins added to their lead in the third inning when Polanco took Shields deep for a solo homer to right field. Polanco's blast just cleared the right field fence, putting Minnesota up 3-0. Minnesota's lead grew to 4-0 when Escobar's fourth-inning single drove in Max Kepler.