Nelson Cruz hit a homer in the sixth inning and nodded with a sacrificial volley in the eighth inning, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over host Chicago White Sox in Game 1. ‘a double Monday program.
Jorge Polanco of Minnesota added a single RBI early in the eighth. Chicago’s Jose Abreu responded with a late-inning brace but was stuck at second.
Luis Arraez, Ryan Jeffers and Polanco each had two hits for Minnesota, which ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 3-10 against the White Sox this season.
Tyler Duffey (2-2) took the win with a scoreless relief round. Hansel Robles got his 10th save despite an unearned run in the eighth.
Chicago’s Tim Anderson scored for the third game in a row and extended his streak to 16 straight games, setting a career-high. Garrett Hook (2-5) suffered the loss after allowing two runs (one earned) on a third inning hit.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Anderson’s ninth Homer of the season, moving 417 feet down center-right.
Minnesota tied for sixth when Cruz fielded his 19th homer of the season in the stands on the left. It was the 436th home run of Cruz’s career, breaking the tie with Carlos Beltran for 46th place on the all-time list. Andre Dawson is 45th with 438 home runs.
Cruz has 15 home runs and 40 RBIs against the White Sox over the past three seasons.
The Twins then took a 3-1 lead early in the eighth. Arraez started off with a single to send Gilberto Celestino, who was running for runner-up Jeffers, in third place. Josh Donaldson then loaded the goals with the choice of a defensive player when third baseman Jake Burger lined up his slow roll and unsuccessfully attempted to touch Celestino who was moving away from third base.
After Trevor Larnach retired, Cruz led Celestino with a sacrificial volley to cross reliever Ryan Burr. Polanco followed with a single to the right to lead to Arraez.
Chicago reduced him to 3-2 late in the inning over Abreu’s rule double at left center, leading Anderson, who started the inning second as a designated runner. Robles rebounded to take out pinch hitter Gavin Sheets and have Adam Engel fly to the shallow left.