White Sox Hang on to Beat Twins


Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks celebrates the team’s 7-6 win over the Minnesota Twins after a baseball game Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Gavin Sheets had two hits and two RBIs in his major league debut, helping Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 on Tuesday night.

Leury García also drove in two runs as Chicago increased its AL Central lead to 2 1/2 games over Cleveland after the Indians’ matchup with Detroit was postponed by rain. The White Sox had dropped seven of nine.

Giolito (6-5) pitched six-plus innings of three-run ball in his first win in a month. The right-hander went 0-1 with a 3.96 ERA over his previous four outings.

Giolito surrendered a two-run drive to Josh Donaldson on his fifth pitch of the game. But he quickly settled down in his 100th career start.

After crossing the plate following his 12th homer, Donaldson rubbed his hands together and appeared to yell, “Not sticky anymore,” as he made his way to the Twins’ dugout.

Donaldson has been one of baseball’s most outspoken sluggers when it comes to pitchers using sticky substances, something the league recently started cracking down on.

The Twins had won seven of nine. They scored three times in the seventh, including RBI doubles by Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler, and then pulled within one on Jorge Polanco’s run-scoring groundout in the ninth.

But Liam Hendriks earned his 21st save when he retired Alex Kirilloff on a fly ball to center, stranding a runner at third.

Sheets, the son of former big league outfielder Larry Sheets, lined an opposite-field single to left in the second for his first hit. He tied it at 2 when he drove in a run with an infield out that went off the glove of Kenta Maeda (3-3) in the third.

The White Sox opened a 7-2 lead with four runs in the fifth. Sheets had a bloop RBI double, and García followed with a sacrifice fly. Danny Mendick and Tim Anderson capped the inning with run-scoring singles.

Maeda was charged with seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He issued five walks, matching a career high, and struck out four.

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