MINNEAPOLIS -- With four errors, it wasn't the Twins' day, defensively. But they were able to overcome it, as right-hander Ervin Santana continued his impressive run with another strong start and was backed by two homers from Brian Dozier in a 6-4 win over the White Sox on Sunday at Target Field.
Santana went six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Santana, who is a trade candidate for the Twins, has posted a 1.96 ERA over his last eight starts.
"We didn't pick up our pitchers very well and made it tough on Ervin," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He was only able to go six with his pitch count driven up by the errors. It's not often you're able to overcome that. Thankfully we got off to a good start."
Santana outpitched White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon, who went 6 1/3 innings, surrendering five runs on eight hits and two walks. The Twins jumped out to an early three-run lead in the first, keyed by a two-run homer from Kennys Vargas.
"Felt good," Rodon said. "I just have to be better."
"They jumped on him pretty good there early," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They jumped on him and he battled back and velocity-wise I think he started getting a little stronger as the game went on."
Dozier gave the Twins some breathing room with a solo blast off Rodon in the fifth before adding another solo shot in the seventh off Carson Fulmer. It was Dozier's fourth career multi-homer game, and his third against Chicago.
The White Sox threatened in the eighth, scoring a run on Minnesota's fourth error of the game. But with the bases loaded and two outs, reliever Michael Tonkin was able to get Carlos Sanchez to ground out to first to end the inning. Ryan Pressly tossed a scoreless ninth for the Twins to get his first career save, striking out former Twins first baseman Justin Morneau with a runner at third to end the game.
"It was fun," Pressly said. "I was just trying to get ahead of him and trying to get him [to] chase, and that's what I did."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Vargas baby, Vargas: The Twins jumped out to a three-run lead in the first, keyed by a leadoff double from Dozier. Robbie Grossman scored Dozier with an infield single that set the stage for Vargas' two-run blast. The ball left the bat at 109 mph and traveled 433 feet, per Statcast™.
"Dozier got us going and Vargas came up with a big hit," Molitor said. "We've talked about how from the right side, he struggled down there, but he's a done job from the right side when he gets opportunities. It was one of those [Harmon] Killebrew shots, hit high and far with a lot of carry."
Anderson goes multi-hit: With singles in the third and the fifth, Tim Anderson picked up his 18th multi-hit effort in 44 career games. Anderson has hit in 32 of his 44 games since making his big league debut on June 10 against Kansas City. Anderson is hitting .354 during day games.
"I just continue to work at it, get my work in in the cages. I'm really locking in and trying to have better ABs than I did," Anderson said. "I've seen a lot of offspeed [pitches], and I feel like I'm adjusting back. I've just been working on a lot of things. The sum total of the at-bats today, even last night, I feel like I can build off that and keep going."
Sano makes costly error: With two outs in the fourth, Tyler Saladino hit a routine grounder to third baseman Miguel Sano, whose throw to first took Vargas off the bag for an error. The White Sox took advantage of the extra out, as Omar Narvaez came through with an RBI single with a second run scoring on a throwing error from center fielder Eddie Rosario.
Melky's hot bat: With a 3-for-4 day, Melky Cabrera finished the three-game series with eight hits. He has a team-leading 38 multi-hit games, including four straight. He has hit safely in 15 of 16 games and has a .385 average during that stretch.
"You never know. I'm still here today, but you never know about tomorrow." -- Santana, on the chances of being traded before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline
"We'll just sleep in. If you get a phone call early, it's probably from your agent or your wife and that's about it." -- Todd Frazier, on having an off-day Monday as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches
"We're still not out, but we have to put our winning shoes on like now and it has to come in bunches. It really does. We have to find a way to win games." -- Frazier, on the White Sox losing two of three to the Twins
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Since the start of the 2013 season, Dozier leads all second baseman with 88 home runs. Robinson Cano has the second-most with 84.
BUXTON LEAVES WITH INJURY
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton left the game in the second inning with right knee soreness. Buxton, who is day to day, injured himself while running the bases.
"We're a little bit optimistic because structurally it's fine," Molitor said. "There's some fluid in there. So he'll get an MRI [Monday] morning." More >
The White Sox challenged a call in the second inning that Grossman was safe at first base on a ground ball to third baseman Saladino. The ruling was overturned by video review, and Grossman became the third out of the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: After an off-day Monday, James Shields is scheduled to open a series against the Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday with a 6:08 p.m. CT first pitch. The right-hander will be making his 11th start for the White Sox and has gone 3-3 with a 1.71 ERA over his last six starts covering 42 innings. .
Twins: The Twins head to Cleveland for a four-game series with the Indians that begins on Monday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Minnesota will call up top prospect Jose Berrios to make the start. Berrios was 10-5 with a 2.44 ERA in 16 starts with Triple-A Rochester.