MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brian Dozier homered twice and Ervin Santana posted another strong start one day before the trade deadline as the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 on Sunday.
Kennys Vargas hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning for Minnesota, which has won three of four games.
Vargas’ towering blast in the first was hit an estimated 428 feet to straightaway center field and highlighted the quick start against Chicago’s Carlos Rodon (2-8), who made his first start since July 5 after recovering from a sprained left wrist.
Santana (4-9) allowed three runs — one earned — in six innings with five strikeouts. Ryan Pressly gave up a double to Melky Cabrera but recorded his first save in three chances.
Santana has been mentioned in trade rumors with the Twins floundering in last place. Minnesota sent its lone All-Star representative, infielder Eduardo Nunez, to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Santana has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last eight starts, but is just 3-2 in that span. Starting pitching is seemingly scarce among potential trading partners, but Twins interim general manager Rob Antony has said he’s willing to hold on to Santana, who has two years remaining on the four-year, $55 million contract he signed prior to last season.
Santana didn’t allow a hit until Adam Eaton’s leadoff bloop single in the fourth. Two runs came across in the fourth after Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario had throwing errors on back-to-back plays.
Chicago is also in selling mode after it started 23-10. The White Sox sent left-hander reliever Zach Duke to the St. Louis Cardinals for speedy minor-league outfielder Charlie Tilson before Sunday’s game.
Rodon managed to last 6 1/3 innings in his return to the rotation but gave up five earned runs and eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The White Sox starting staff, particularly left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, has been much rumored as Monday’s trade deadline approaches, as well.
White Sox: Todd Frazier returned after missing two games with the flu. Manager Robin Ventura said Frazier was better but not feeling all the way back to 100 percent. Frazier started at first base and went 0 for 2 with two walks.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton left the game in the second with right knee soreness after running the bases. Buxton got on base with a walk and stole second base standing up even as Chicago catcher Omar Narvaez made a throw. When Grossman grounded to third, Buxton pulled up heading into third base.
White Sox: Chicago begins a series at Detroit with RHP James Shields (5-12, 4.68 ERA) starting against RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-11, 6.56). Shields pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs in his last outing.
Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (5-8, 6.12) is scheduled to start Monday’s game at Cleveland against RHP Danny Salazar (11-3, 2.97).
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