MINNEAPOLIS (AP)As the Minnesota Twins move closer to a postseason berth, Jose Berrios’ confidence grows.
Berrios pitched into the eighth inning to win his second straight start, Mitch Garver hit a go-ahead double and the Twins rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 Monday night.
”Confidence is real, and every single guy here needs it to succeed to be their best self and their best version of them on the field,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. ”Jose certainly had it.”
Seeking their first AL Central title since 2010, the Twins opened a five-game lead over second-place Cleveland. At 92-58 with 12 games left, Minnesota is assured of its best record since finishing 94-68 in 2010.
Given an extra day of rest between starts, Berrios (13-8) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. He was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was removed.
”Every outing I’m feeling better and better,” Berrios said through a translator. ”My arm was feeling great today.”
Berrios’ 188 1/3 innings are four shy of his career high, set last year. The two-time All-Star has changed his postgame routine in order to stay fresher between starts.
He pitched into the eighth inning for just the fifth time this season.
Tyler Duffey finished the eighth, and Sergio Romo allowed Eloy Jimenez’s homer leading off the ninth before getting an out. Taylor Rogers needed just eight pitches to finish a six-hitter for his 27th save in 33 chances.
Following a weekend series against the Indians, Minnesota started a final stretch against teams with losing records: the White Sox, Kansas City and worst-in-the-majors Detroit.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez gave up five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
”I was feeling good today,” Lopez said through a translator. ”I missed quite a bit with first-pitch strikes, and that got me into some trouble.”
Jose Abreu’s sacrifice fly in the first and James McCann’s homer in the second gave Chicago a 2-0 lead, but the Twins tied the score in the bottom half on Jorge Polanco’s sacrifice fly and Nelson Cruz’s RBI single.
After Garver put the Twins ahead for good, Luis Arraez hit a cue shot off the end of his bat that curved past third baseman Yoan Moncada for a two-run single in the sixth. Moncada appeared to be in position to make a play before the ball spun to his left and into the outfield.
”When he hit that ball, I don’t think anybody realized it was going to do that, us included,” Baldelli said. ”It was just a very unusual ball off the bat.”
Twins: 1B Marwin Gonzalez went 1 for 4 in his return from an abdominal injury that had sidelined him since Aug. 27. … INF Ehire Adrianza, who strained his right oblique on Thursday, hopes to start taking swings this weekend and remains optimistic he may play again during the regular season is over. … RF Max Kepler was out of the lineup for the second straight game with left shoulder soreness. … 1B C.J. Cron might need some time off to rest his injured right thumb, according to Baldelli.
White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday because of a mild lat strain and will miss the rest of the season. LHP Ross Detwiler (2-5) will start against LHP Martin Perez (10-7). A first-time All-Star, Giolito finished14-9 with a 3.41 ERA. ”He created a great foundation for himself going forward to be a very important part of a good team going forward,” Chicago general manager Rick Hahn said.
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