Rosario homers twice as Twins clobber White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Minnesota Twins pushing toward the playoffs, Jose Berrios suffered a disappointing loss last week on the road against the Chicago White Sox.
Minnesota’s second-year starter was determined not to let a second chance against the American League’s worst team fall short again. Berrios handled the White Sox bats, and the surging Twins’ offense did the rest on Wednesday.
Eddie Rosario homered twice, and Berrios dazzled for seven scoreless innings as Minnesota beat Chicago 11-1.
“It felt good,” Berrios said through an interpreter. “I felt strong. I felt healthy. I went out there thinking I didn’t want to lose another game against them and that’s what I went out there and did, and I was positive the whole day.”
Brian Dozier tied his career high with four hits, and Ehire Adrianza tripled twice as the Twins won their third consecutive game and sixth in a row at home to climb within one game of the New York Yankees for the top American League wild-card spot.
“It was about as good as you can draw it up,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of the complete effort. “Put ourselves in a position tomorrow to come out and try to finish a sweep, and continue the start of a good homestand.”
Berrios (12-6) came out looking much stronger than he did last week against the White Sox when he allowed five runs (three earned) over 5 1/3 innings in a loss. Chicago was aggressive early in the count Wednesday and Berrios threw strikes and got ground balls.
The 23-year-old Puerto Rican threw just 29 pitches in the first three innings and retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. Berrios tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and struck out seven of the final nine batters he faced. He allowed just four hits and a walk.
“I‘m a competitor; I like striking out batters and I like doing it as much as I did today,” Berrios said. “It makes me feel an accomplishment, feel like I did a good job out on the mound. It feels good, obviously. It makes me feel like it was a good outing. It gives me peace of mind, in a way.”
White Sox starter Derek Holland (7-14) surrendered five runs in five innings. He gave up eight hits and walked four and Chicago manager Rick Renteria admitted it was a possibility that the left-hander could be moved to the bullpen with Reynaldo Lopez ready to rejoin the rotation.
“I’ve got to take whatever they give me,” Holland said, saying earlier: “The results are the frustrating part, but I‘m going to take the health over results at this moment. This is something to continue to learn on and improve. I’ve had to make some big-time adjustments as well, obviously, not throwing as hard as I have in the past.”
Chicago loaded the bases against Berrios in the fourth, but the runners were stranded as Berrios fanned Tim Anderson for his third strikeout of the inning.
“It’s just a story of a lot of offense on their side today and not a whole lot for us,” Renteria said.
Minnesota struck quickly against Holland. Dozier led off the first inning with a single through a defensive shift, and Joe Mauer pulled a ball to right field for a double that scored Dozier.
Rosario hit a two-run homer to the opposite field in the third. It was just the second homer of the season against a left-hander for the left-handed-swinging Rosario.
“Everything when I see lefty, I want to change a little bit my approach,” Rosario said. “Sometimes it’s a little difficult. But same plan, same plan to stay inside the ball, good at-bat, try to hitting hard the ball.”
NOTES: Minnesota CF Byron Buxton left the game in the seventh inning and manager Paul Molitor said Buxton hurt himself on a swing when he lost grip on the bat. Buxton will be examined before Thursday’s game. ... Molitor said LHP Hector Santiago (upper thoracic back pain) struggled with command and velocity in his latest rehab start. Santiago has been out since July 3. ... Twins 3B Miguel Sano’s recovery from a stress reaction in his left shin is progressing slowly and the team is going to cut back on some of the work Sano has been doing. Sano is still in a walking boot and has soreness in the leg. ... Chicago manager Rick Renteria said RHP Reynaldo Lopez is likely to return to the rotation on Friday after missing two starts with discomfort in his back. ... Minnesota C Jason Castro is eligible to return on Thursday from his concussion, but it doesn’t appear he will be ready. Castro had a workout on Tuesday and is increasing his activities.