The tides turned for both the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox … at least for one night.
The teams’ series is now even at one game apiece heading into the rubber match on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Miguel Sano’s first career three-homer game set up Jorge Polanco’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth as the Twins rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday.
Chicago entered the game having won nine of its previous 11, including a 16-4 blowout of Minnesota on Monday. The Twins, who beat the White Sox for the first time in five meetings this season, had lost 10 of their previous 12.
Minnesota’s comeback occurred one night after Chicago rookie Yermin Mercedes swung at a 3-0 pitch and hit a home run off catcher Willians Astudillo, who was pitching in the ninth inning with the White Sox comfortably ahead 15-4.
Twins reliever Tyler Duffey threw a pitch behind Mercedes in the seventh inning Tuesday and was ejected.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who called what Mercedes did a “big mistake” pregame on Tuesday, had a brief meeting with plate umpire Jim Reynolds just before Duffey’s pitch. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was subsequently ejected for arguing Duffey’s ejection.
“It wasn’t obvious to me,” La Russa said. “I’m suspicious if somebody throws at somebody’s head. I don’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that.”
White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (2-4, 4.97 ERA) will oppose Twins right-hander Matt Shoemaker (2-4, 6.62) on Wednesday.
Both pitchers have gone 1-4 over their past five starts.
Shoemaker last faced the White Sox in 2018 and is 3-2 with a 4.34 ERA in six career starts against them with one complete game.
Shoemaker matched a season high by going six innings in his most recent outing, Friday against the Oakland A’s. Shoemaker was close to securing a quality start when he gave up his third home run of the outing to Stephen Piscotty, closing his final line at five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Giolito also gave up five runs on five hits over six innings in his most recent start, Friday against the Kansas City Royals. He struck out seven and walked three. Giolito has already allowed eight home runs this season in 41 2/3 innings, matching the amount he gave up last season in 72 1/3 innings.
Giolito is 4-7 with a 5.15 ERA in 13 career starts against the Twins, compiling a 3-2 record and a 4.54 ERA in six outings at Target Field.
The Twins’ rotation is in a tough spot this week after Michael Pineda was scratched from his start Tuesday due to an abscess on his inner thigh, prompting them to call up rookie Bailey Ober to make his first major league appearance Tuesday.
Ober started and gave up four runs on five hits in four innings.
Baldelli said of Pineda, “It’s in a pretty uncomfortable spot for him. Something that’s been around for a little while. It’s gotten worse, and he had to have a little procedure to get that taken care of, so he’s got a couple of stitches.”
The status of Minnesota right-hander Kenta Maeda is also up in the air as he deals with groin tightness. Maeda skipped his scheduled bullpen session on Tuesday.
First baseman Jose Abreu (left ankle inflammation) is expected to miss a third consecutive game Wednesday, but the White Sox are hopeful he’ll be ready to return Friday against the New York Yankees.
–Field Level Media