Kepler’s RBI single in 9th inning gives Twins 3-2 victory over White Sox for 8th straight win

CHICAGO (AP) — Max Kepler had a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Monday night for their eighth straight win.

Byron Buxton doubled to lead off the ninth against John Brebbia (0-1). Kepler, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, then drove him in with a line-drive single to right.

“You gotta be able to win tight games,” Buxton said. “There’s going to be some days where you’re winning blowouts, but to be able to battle like we did today against tough pitching and put some at-bats together to win today is big.”

Caleb Thielbar pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the ninth, striking out Korey Lee to end the game after walking Tommy Pham and giving up a two-out single to Robbie Grossman.

Joe Ryan threw six solid innings for the Twins. Coming off a win against the White Sox last week at Target Field, he gave up two runs and six hits.

“He ended up giving us a really nice outing,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “There are days when you’re pitching and you’re really sharp and everything’s crisp and you’re missing a bunch of bats. But there are other days kind of like today where a six-inning start, that’s a heck of an accomplishment when you’re battling at the beginning of the game.

Brock Stewart worked the seventh, Griffin Jax (2-2) dodged a first-and-second jam in the eighth when he struck out Eloy Jiménez to end that threat, and Thielbar finished up to earn his second save.

Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the second to tie the score before Minnesota beat Chicago for the 12th time in the last 13 games. The Twins also matched their best winning streak since also winning eight straight in June 2011.

“It’s baseball, you just gotta keep grinding,” Kepler said. “The season started on a cold front offensively, and you just gotta keep battling and have each other’s backs.”

Andrew Vaughn lined an RBI double and scored in a two-run first to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead, but they couldn’t hang on after winning a season-high three in a row.

Garrett Crochet pitched five innings for the White Sox, allowing two runs and five hits after dropping his previous three starts. The left-hander struck out seven and walked one.

“I felt like it took me a minute to get going,” Crochet said. “I felt like giving up the homer kind of flipped the switch for me. And then I felt like I was kind of on autopilot for the rest of the game.”

Brad Keller pitched around two walks in the sixth and retired the first two batters in the seventh before Christian Vázquez reached on a throwing error by third baseman Danny Mendick. Tim Hill then got Alex Kirilloff to ground out with a runner on second.


Twins: SS Carlos Correa was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after he missed 16 games with a strained right rib cage muscle and went 0 for 4. He was hurt checking his swing during a strikeout on April 12. Minnesota optioned utility player Austin Martin to Triple-A St. Paul.


RHP Michael Soroka (0-3, 6.83 ERA) will take the mound for the White Sox after lasting five innings, giving up four hits and striking out one against the Twins on Thursday. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 2.45) starts for Minnesota. He went five innings against Chicago last week, allowing seven hits and striking out six.