MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Byron Buxton took a curtain call following his first career grand slam and Brian Dozier hit another home run as the Minnesota Twins continued to pound the pitchers on the Chicago White Sox. The celebration of winning a series at home for the first time since the end of July seemed inevitable.
Then Minnesota’s pitching staff faltered again.
Jose Abreu hit two three-run homers and drove in a career-best seven runs, and Chicago used Tim Anderson’s two-run double in the 12th inning to beat Minnesota 13-11 on Sunday.
“To have an offensive day like that, and to really have the guys you want in the game at the end with a chance,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the frustrating pitching performance. “I don’t know how many of those we’ve had that would rank up there with that one.”
Miguel Sano and John Ryan Murphy also went deep for the Twins, who hit 11 homers in the four-game series split.
Buxton had three hits and is 9 for 16 with three homers and nine RBIs in four games since being recalled from the minors.
“I think everyone’s well aware of his trials,” Molitor said. “He has a moment like that, they acknowledged it. You don’t see curtain calls much in September for a last-place team, but it was good.”
Minnesota owns baseball’s worst record at 51-86, but is ninth in runs scored. The pitching staff has surrendered the most second-most earned runs in the majors.
Twins left-hander Andrew Albers was charged with five runs, three earned, and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He had a career-high six strikeouts, but remains in search of his first major league win since Aug. 12, 2013.
“For us to not be able to pull out a game when they score (11) runs, and they put up (seven) for you as a starter in five innings, for you not to make it through five or six and then put the bullpen in that situation, you don’t feel real good about it,” Albers said. “Unfortunately, I just wasn’t quite able to get the job done, and to really put that game away early.”
Juan Minaya (1-0) earned his first major league win. He pitched a scoreless 11th but walked the first two batters in the 12th. Tommy Kahnle then came in and earned his third career save, retiring Eddie Rosario with the bases loaded for the final out.
Minnesota closer Brandon Kintzler allowed two runs in the top of the ninth, blowing a save for the second time in 15 chances. David Robertson gave up one run in the bottom of the inning for his seventh blown save in 40 chances.
JUST BELOW KILLEBREW
Dozier’s 35 home runs are the most by any Twins player since Josh Willingham also hit 35 in 2012. He leads the majors with 21 homers since the All-Star break.
Only Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew has hit more homers in a single season in Twins history.
“Don’t be putting me in Killebrew’s, in a sentence with him,” Dozier said. “That’s pretty cool. We’ve still got a little ways to go, but that’s pretty cool.”
White Sox: Chris Sale (15-7, 3.10 ERA) starts Monday against the Detroit Tigers, who counter with Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.30 ERA). Sale is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings in four starts against Detroit this season. Verlander has allowed more than two runs just once in his past 12 starts.
Twins: Molitor said rookie right-hander Jose Berrios (2-4, 9.24 ERA) will be called up to start Monday against Kansas City. The Royals counter with RHP Ian Kennedy (9-9, 3.66 ERA).
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