Four of the five home runs the Minnesota Twins hit during their 8-2 win against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday sailed to the opposite field, including two off the bat of Alex Kirilloff.
The Twins have focused on using the whole field while batting lately, an approach that has them eyeing a three-game sweep of the host White Sox entering Wednesday’s matinee.
“It just varies from guy to guy, and I think that just comes along sometimes, just good plate discipline and taking good at-bats as a team,” Kirilloff said. “Just want to keep things simple and keep going.”
Kirilloff has five hits in the first two games of the series, helping the Twins improve to 5-0 against the White Sox this season.
Chicago entered a seven-game homestand against division foes with plenty of optimism but thus far has been unable to solve Minnesota.
The White Sox lost the series opener 6-3 in 10 innings on Monday before struggling on Tuesday, leaving seven men on base while going 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Reese McGuire had a three-hit game to lead Chicago’s 10-hit attack. Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Twins have won four of five overall as they enter a stretch in which they will play three day games out of the next four.
Minnesota is set to host Chicago for four games July 14-17 to close the season’s first half.
Chicago could activate left fielder Eloy Jimenez before the Wednesday game after he returned to the club Tuesday following a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. Jimenez, who is coming back from a torn right hamstring, was batting .222 with one home run and seven RBIs in 36 at-bats before being injured in an April 23 loss at Minnesota.
“Looks in good shape, so hopefully looks aren’t deceiving,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He played enough down (in Charlotte). They say he’s ready to go. We’re different when he’s around.”
Right-hander Lance Lynn (1-1, 4.50 ERA) is set to start for the White Sox. Lynn, who spent part of the 2018 season with the Twins, is coming off his best start among his four this season. He took a no-decision on Friday after pitching three-hit ball over six shutout innings in San Francisco.
“It’s coming back,” said Lynn, who missed the first two months as he recovered from right knee surgery. “The first couple of starts, I threw the ball well at times and then had some bad luck, and that’s going to happen. But I think once you get in the flow of what you’re doing and your pitches and things like that, then everything starts rolling a little bit different.”
Lynn is 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA in five career starts against Minnesota, with 24 strikeouts in 29 innings.
Right-hander Joe Ryan (6-3, 3.00) gets the call for the Twins as he aims to build off a sterling no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. He scattered one run and two hits in seven innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts.
A second-year major-leaguer, Ryan hasn’t faced the White Sox in his career.
–Field Level Media