MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota rookie Matt Wallner made three career-level runs, while Gio Urshela and Jake Cave had three hits each as the Twins beat Chicago 7-4 on Wednesday night, making the White Sox lose their eighth consecutive defeat .
Jose Miranda added a double RBI for the Twins, who drew the White Sox in second place at AL Central with a score of 76-79 after spending the last 19 days in third place. Cleveland has crushed both of them in the last three weeks to finalize the division with 10 days left on the schedule.
The Guardians have an 11-game lead over the Twins and the White Sox, both of which have been the two most disappointing baseball teams this season.
Twins starter Josh Winder, much like teammate Bailey Ober the night before, took the mound with the intention of building a solid start last week and strengthening his position in the 2023 rotation after a season marred by injuries.
After Ober set career records with 10 strikes and 7 1/3 innings in a 4-0 win on Tuesday, Winder didn’t do that well. The rookie, right-hand man, was out with two cars in the fifth inning, with a lead of 5: 3, after an RBI single by José Abreu. Winder hit six beaters without walking, and Caleb Thielbar (4-2) got four out with the feeling of victory.
Johnny Cueto (7-10) lost his fourth consecutive start for the White Sox by ending 5 2/3 innings with six series surrenders. He gave up 10 hits, as did Lance Lynn on Tuesday.
After RBI Cave’s single, which put Twins on the board in the second, Wallner followed two runs in the right-hand lane which put them in the lead for good.
After hitting a two-speed Homer on Tuesday, Wallner – a native of Forest Lake, Minnesota, who was 39th overall in 2019 in southwest Mississippi – drove a much softer way in fourth place. His reel up the lane was taken by Abreu, but the first baseline hesitated after considering a throw home to try to get hold of the sliding Urshel. After that, it was too late to try to tag Wallner, whose single RBI scored 5-2.
Urshela, Cave and Wallner – batting in fifth, sixth and seventh – scored a total of 8 out of 10 with five runs, four RBIs and two walks.
Minnesota’s Luis Arraez beat 2 out of 5 to sneak up closer in the batting race with an average of 0.3133. League leader Aaron Judge came out 1-4 with 0.3134. He managed to score the 61st home run for the New York Yankees to break the AL’s one-season record. Arraez and Xander Bogaerts of Boston (.3087) are the only ones with a reasonable chance to prevent a judge from getting a triple crown.
White Sox: 3B Yoan Moncada was out with a bone bruise on his right foot, which had an x-ray after hitting himself with a foul ball on Tuesday night.
The twins: 2B Jorge Polanco, who missed the last 30 games with left knee inflammation and had his rehab cut two weeks ago due to further ailments, is likely to close by the end of the season, manager Rocco Baldelli said.
IN THE FUTURE
White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (10-9, 5.05 ERA) occupies the mound on Thursday afternoon. There is no victory in the last five turns.
The twins: RHP Louie Varland (0-2, 5.06 ERA) in the series finals, his fourth career start.
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