CHICAGO (AP) — Miguel Sanó hit a three-run homer in Minnesota’s five-run first inning, and the Twins pounded Dylan Covey and the Chicago White Sox 11-1 on Sunday to strengthen their hold on the AL Central.
Jorge Polanco, Jonathan Schoop and Max Kepler also connected as Minnesota ran its major league-leading total to 205 home runs. The Twins went deep 11 times while taking three of four in the series and moved two games ahead of second-place Cleveland, which lost 9-6 at Kansas City.
Covey (1-7) threw 14 pitches and failed to get an out in his 10th start of the season. After Polanco’s 16th homer made it 2-0, Nelson Cruz and Luis Arraez singled before Sanó chased Covey with an opposite-field drive just inside the foul pole in right.
It was Sanó’s fourth homer in his last six games and No. 18 on the year. The big first baseman finished with three hits and scored twice.
It was more than enough for Kyle Gibson (10-4), who struck out nine in six effective innings. The right-hander improved to 9-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 16 career starts against Chicago.
The White Sox played without slumping All-Stars José Abreu and James McCann, who each got the day off for rest. Abreu is batting .200 since the break, and McCann is hitting just .178 with 31 strikeouts in 18 July games.
Jon Jay hit an RBI single in the sixth to account for Chicago’s only run. The White Sox had the bases loaded with no outs, but Gibson wiggled out of the jam by striking out Eloy Jiménez, Welington Castillo and AJ Reed to end the inning.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria was thrown out by umpire Angel Hernandez after Jiménez looked at a called third strike for the first out. It was Renteria’s sixth ejection of the season.