Escobar’s 3-run homer powers Twins past White Sox 4-2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning to power the Minnesota Twins past Chicago 4-2 on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader, spoiling a stellar start by White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez.
Miguel Sano’s RBI single set up Escobar for his latest clutch hit against his original team. Traded to the Twins in 2012, Escobar is batting .321 with seven doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs in his past 22 games against the White Sox.
Tyler Duffey (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory, and Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 16 attempts and 11th in a row.
With a lift from Yoan Moncada’s leadoff home run, Lopez sailed through seven scoreless innings with only one hit allowed. He turned a 2-0 lead over to Nate Jones (2-2), who got two easy outs before Brian Dozier reached on an infield single that was bobbled by third baseman Yolmer Sanchez and preceded by a low throw that first baseman Jose Abreu couldn’t scoop.
Eddie Rosario walked. Then Sano’s single finally put the Twins on the scoreboard, before Escobar’s 414-foot drive to straightaway center on a 1-2 pitch.
He pumped his arm and shouted in celebration as he rounded first base to put the Twins ahead and on track for their fourth straight win, before emerging from the dugout with a wide smile for a tip-of-the-helmet curtain call.
Lopez (2-4) walked four batters, allowing only a fourth-inning double by Escobar. He left after 106 pitches, a strong bounce back from his previous turn when he allowed seven hits and eight runs at Cleveland in just 2 2/3 innings. Lopez struck out four.
Twins starter Fernando Romero went six innings, allowing a two-out RBI double to Abreu in the fifth but striking out four without a walk. He gave up seven hits.
GETTING CAUGHT UP
The game was a makeup from April 15, when a weekend snowstorm finished smothering the Twin Cities and forced a third straight postponement. The others were rescheduled for Aug. 20, a single game on what was originally a day off for the teams, and Sept. 28 as a day-night, dual-admission doubleheader. This one was a traditional twinbill, with only one ticket required and just a half-hour between games.
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito takes the mound in the second game. He lost to the Twins on April 12, the only game that was played as scheduled during that series, after allowing five hits, five walks and four runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Twins: RHP Zack Littell, added as the 26th player for the doubleheader, makes his major league debut in the second game. Acquired last July 30 from the New York Yankees in a trade for starting pitcher Jaime Garcia, the 22-year-old Littell has a 2.57 ERA in 28 innings for Triple-A Rochester. He was promoted from Double-A soon after Romero was called up by the Twins.
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