Cruz (3 HRs) continues tear, Twins thump White Sox

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning Wednesday, July 24, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

Nelson Cruz continued his power display with the first three-homer game of his career to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 10-3 victory over the host Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

The 39-year-old Cruz had five RBIs while Max Kepler and Miguel Sano also homered for the Twins. Cruz has six blasts over the past four games and eight in the last nine.

Minnesota has 17 homers over the past four games to extend its major league-leading homer total to 199. The Twins also set a major league record by hitting five or more homers for the ninth time this season.

Cruz hit each of his three homers off White Sox All-Star right-hander Lucas Giolito (11-5), who served up four blasts for the first time in his career.

Cruz had two chances at becoming the first player in franchise history with four homers but struck out in the sixth against right-hander Jimmy Cordero and flew to right in the ninth versus left-hander Josh Osich.


Twins All-Star right-hander Jose Berrios (9-5) gave up three runs (two earned) and six hits in seven innings. Berrios struck out eight and walked one while halting a seven-start winless stretch.

Minnesota has scored 44 runs over the last five games but has won just three of the contests.

Chicago has dropped 11 of its last 14 games, and has scored just four runs while losing its last three.

Giolito allowed seven runs and seven hits over five innings while dropping to 0-3 over his last four starts. He struck out seven and walked two.

Cruz started his big game with two outs in the first by smacking Giolito's 2-2 fastball 473 feet over the left field fence.

Chicago's Yoan Moncada hit the first pitch of the bottom of the second over the fence in left. Cruz broke the tie with a runner on and two outs in the third when he sent a first-pitch curveball 433 feet to center.

Kepler hit a two-run homer to right center with one out in the fifth to make it 5-1 and Jorge Polanco followed with a walk. Cruz took a slider for a strike before crushing Giolito's changeup 430 feet to right-center for blast No. 3 of the game.

Leury Garcia registered an RBI single in the fifth for Chicago before Sano hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Cordero to make it 9-2. Polanco had an RBI single later in the inning to make it an eight-run margin.

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