MINNEAPOLIS -- One day after a solid all-around effort to snap a 13-game losing streak, the Twins couldn't play clean baseball down the stretch, and the White Sox big bats were happy to take advantage. Melky Cabrera, Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier combined for eight RBIs, as a solid Carlos Rodon earned his third straight win in an 11-4 White Sox victory on Friday night at Target Field.
Frazier was able to pull the White Sox back from an early deficit with his two-run homer in the fourth inning, his team-leading 35th of the season. Chicago later added an RBI double from Carlos Sanchez and a big two-run single from Abreu in the eighth to cap a three-run inning, capitalizing on a throwing error and three walks issued by Twins reliever Alex Wimmers.
The bats were more than enough to support an efficient outing from Rodon, who notched his sixth consecutive quality start by allowing four runs (three earned) while needing only 79 pitches to get through seven innings. It was his first time lasting seven innings since April 29.
"Overall, I made a good adjustment late," Rodon said. "Going in wasn't working so I decided to go up and in."
"We had a long inning there in the top of the eighth that really knocked him," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of his team's three-run eighth that led to Rodon's exit. "But he was going to go back out. I thought he was good later in the game, throwing strikes. If it wasn't for that long inning, he was going back out."
Twins starter Kyle Gibson, who entered the game with a 5-1 record and 1.80 ERA in eight career starts against the White Sox, was tagged for five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He had only allowed one earned run in 12 2/3 innings in two previous starts this season against Chicago.
"Tonight what they did was they hit my mistakes really well," Gibson said. "Frazier hit the homer to center on a slider that just didn't move. Abreu hit a lot of balls hard, and they hit a couple of balls the other way. It seemed like any mistake that I made over the middle and elevated, they hit hard, and that's what good teams are going to do."
Minnesota got three of its four runs on a three-run homer by Brian Dozier in the third inning, his team-leading 33rd long ball of the season and his third in this last four games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Frazier now first at third: Frazier's two-run blast to center in the fourth not only tied the game, but it gave him the most home runs by any White Sox third baseman in a single season. Ventura shared the record with his 34 in 1996. Frazier's drive had an exit velocity of 105.5 mph and a projected distance of 431 feet according to Statcast™, his longest homer this season.
"It's a sad day around here when one of those goes down. … You're proud of him," Ventura said with a smile. "You like to see him break a record, but I don't like it to be mine. We had some fun with it, and you're happy for him." More >
Twins outfield flashes the leather: In his second game back in center field after his recall from Triple-A Rochester, Byron Buxton showed the Twins what they've been missing in center field defensively. In the fifth inning, with one run already in and a runner on second, Abreu drove a line drive into right-center field that Buxton snagged on a dead sprint, traveling 63 feet with a top speed of 19.9 mph to make the grab and prevent a run from scoring.
"The catch was big," Molitor said. "Abreu is hot and you can see with every at-bat, he's getting good swings. That ball, I didn't think he really had a chance. He was shading him that way, and he was able to track it and ran a good route. It was a big play."
Not to be outdone, right fielder Max Kepler sprinted in to make a diving grab on a sinking Frazier line drive with a runner on first in the top of the sixth to record the first out of the inning. According to Statcast™, he reached an impressive top speed of 21.6 mph, sprinting 79.8 feet to make the grab.
Dozier does it again: Three of the Twins' four runs came on another mighty swing of the bat from the red-hot Dozier, whose 33rd homer of the season extended his career-high total and traveled an estimated 411 feet after leaving the bat at 101 mph, according to Statcast™. The Twins' leadoff man has now hit safely in his last 11 home games and has seven homers and 12 RBIs at Target Field in that span. Dozier's 33 homers are the most by a second baseman in a season since Dan Uggla hit 36 in 2011.
Doubling his pleasure: Sanchez replaced an injured Tim Anderson in the bottom of the third inning Thursday and entered the game with three extra-base hits -- all doubles. He doubled that total with two doubles Thursday and another one with two outs in the sixth inning Friday to drive home the go-ahead run.
"I was trying to find him, but I think he was hiding in there. He played it off well. It made for a good little story." -- Frazier, who tried to find Ventura as he trotted around third after breaking a tie with Ventura for the most home runs by a White Sox third baseman in a single season. Ventura humorously froze out Frazier when he tried to shake his hand in the dugout.
ABREU CONTINUES HOT STREAK
Abreu seems determined to finish the 2016 on something loftier than a simple high note. The White Sox slugger had three hits in the loss to the Twins on Thursday and came back with three more hits and three RBIs in Friday's victory. Abreu is now hitting .294 with 79 RBIs and has reached base in a career-high 29 straight games.
"He's been swinging as of late," Ventura said. "Even the ball Buxton got to was hit well. This is really what you expect out of him."
A RUN ON OFFENSE
The White Sox 11 runs and 16 hits matched season-highs. They also have left 25 men on base in the first two games of this series against the Twins.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox:James Shields (5-16, 5.86 ERA) makes his 28th start of the season and 17th for the White Sox in the third of this four-game set on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Shields is 0-4 with an 11.42 ERA over his last six starts and is 0-4 with a 9.40 ERA in his last eight on the road.
Twins: Left-hander Hector Santiago (10-8, 4.93 ERA) finally shook off his struggles in a Twins uniform in his last start, in which he twirled 6 1/3 shutout innings against the Indians, allowing just three hits. He will get the start at 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday and is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in three career starts against his former team.