The Chicago White Sox won their third straight game by beating the Minnesota Twins 5-2 at Target Field on Sunday.
The Sox employed decent pitching and timely hitting to finish off the four-game series with a victory.
White Sox starter Hector Santiago scattered nine hits across six innings of work, giving up two runs (one earned). He walked two and struck out one batter. It could have been better, as his defense made three errors in the game.
The Twins had 10 hits in the game, but they had trouble getting anything done with men on base. They were only 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position in the game.
"Offensively, I don't even know what we were with runners in scoring position, I know it wasn't good at all," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We got a couple of hits, but for the most part we left a lot of people out on the base paths again. We just have to find a way to put the ball in play a little better and find some holes. Right now we're not finding any."
Twins starter Sam Deduno had a spotty outing, hitting three batters and committing a balk while throwing 56 balls in his 95-pitch outing. He pitched five innings and gave up five runs on eight hits, striking out three and somehow avoiding walking a batter.
"I think Sammy was a little erratic today," Gardenhire said. "His breaking ball is just kind of hanging there, and he was getting hurt on that an awful lot. Whether he is overthrowing or tired, I don't know. But his breaking ball is getting hit, and that is the pitch he was able to put people away with before."
The game went back and forth in the early going, with the Sox building a 3-2 lead. Deduno lived on the edge most of the game, throwing plenty of pitches, until a two-run fifth knocked him from the game.
Two first-inning mistakes by Deduno cost him an early run. Deduno hit Gordon Beckman, who then took second base on a balk. He later scored on an Alexei Ramirez single.
Trevor Plouffe hit a double to lead off the Twins second and took third when Dayan Viciedo's throw from left skidded past second. Plouffe scored on Oswaldo Arcia's ground out to second to tie the game.
Deduno hit Alejandro De Aza in the third, and that pitch also came back to haunt him. De Aza advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a Ramirez double.
Deduno then hit Paul Konerko, and Avisail Garcia doubled to score Ramirez.
Brian Dozier and Josh Willingham both doubled in the third and Dozier scored to make it 3-2 White Sox.
In the fifth, Ramirez got his third hit of the game, a homer into the left field seats. It was his fourth home run of the season and left him a triple short of a cycle. Ramirez had three RBI on the afternoon. Garcia then doubled and scored on a Jeff Keppinger single to left to extend the lead to 5-2.
"He likes hitting third, I guess," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Ramirez. "He's shown a little bit of power. Batting second, for one reason or another, he just really kind of stayed the other way. Now there are probably more guys on base and he's come up in big situations, staying in the middle of the field and is starting to pull the ball again. He just looks better at the plate."
The Twins threatened in the sixth loading the bases with a one-out walk and two base hits, but Santiago was able to pitch out of the jam.
"That s kind of the way he pitches," Ventura said of Santiago. "Over the course of the season, he finds a way to get into a little bit of trouble and then get out of it. That s a good thing to have. There are guys that can't really recover from their trouble. I think eventually it is going to be something that is good for him to have. He used all his pitches his today, getting up there in a high pitch count. He was able to kind of get through it."
The White Sox bullpen shut down the Twins for four innings and Addison Reed picked up his 31st save.
NOTES: Joe Mauer collected his 34th double of the season Aug. 17, which ties him for the third-most in baseball. ... Of the White Sox' current 25-man roster, eight of them did not make the team on opening day. ... The Twins have scored 28 of their last 43 runs off home runs, dating back to August 9.