Jose Abreu cracked a two-run home run to jumpstart a four-run first inning while Lucas Giolito pitched six effective innings for the win Tuesday night as the Chicago White Sox earned a split of their makeup doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, taking a 6-3 victory in the nightcap.
After Minnesota rallied in the opener with four eighth-inning runs for a 4-2 win, Chicago simply built a lead the Twins couldn’t erase. Abreu gave Minnesota rookie Zack Littell a rough initiation into the majors with a 413-foot blast over the wall in left-center that brought Yolmer Sanchez home.
Catcher Kevan Smith, playing his first big league game of the year, made it 3-0 with an RBI single to right. Adam Engel followed by ripping a double to left that chased Smith home, giving Giolito all the support he needed.
Giolito (4-6) didn’t look like a pitcher who entered the game with a 7.53 ERA, aside from the Twins’ two-run rally in the third. Gregorio Petit and Robbie Grossman walked to begin the frame before Eddie Rosario singled to load the bases. Giolito did a good job of damage control, getting a double play ball from Miguel Sano that led to one run before Eduardo Escobar doubled to left-center to drive in the other.
Sanchez restored a four-run lead in the fourth when he drilled a two-run double to center that scored Trayce Thompson and Yoan Moncada. Giolito kept the margin at 6-2, leaving after permitting six hits and two runs in his outing with two walks and a strikeout.
Minnesota tried to exploit the White Sox’s shaky bullpen in the eighth. Escobar laced his MLB-high 23rd double of the year to left that cut the lead to 6-3. But Chicago’s fourth reliever of the inning, Joakim Soria, whiffed Mitch Garver on three pitches with men at second and third to end the threat.
Soria then worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fifth save of the season.
Littell pitched three-plus innings, allowing six hits and six runs while walking four and fanning one. Littell threw 86 pitches, 47 for strikes.
—Field Level Media