CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Abreu rolled the ball with a defenseman pick in the ninth after Minnesota closet Jorge Lopez hit Andrew Vaughn to spark a fierce showdown Leading the scoring, the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 4-3 Friday night.
The White Sox had base runners in first and second after back-to-back singles from Romi Gonzalez and Elvis Andrews. They charged the bases when Lopez nearly punched Vaughan in the face.
That left the bullpen and bench empty, with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and White Sox backup coach Miguel Cairo cringing at each other. Cairo also spoke with crew captain Ron Kulpa before heading to the clubhouse.
Lopez (4-7) then appeared to hit Abreu with the next ball, sparking a White Sox celebration. The ball apparently grazed the bat and the offer was voided. Chicago won the game two games later when Abreu sent a grounder to second and Gonzalez scored as the Twins couldn’t complete the double.
Rookie Davis Martin made a 3 in five scoreless innings. Yasmani Grandal tied Caleb Thielbar in the eighth inning after Minnesota scored in the first half to lead 3-2 and Liam Hendriks (3-3) singled in the ninth inning.
The White Sox won their third straight game after losing 10 of 12 games. They won in three games against No. 1 Cleveland and kept the Twins from vying with the Guardians for the AL Central lead.
The White Sox also improved their record to 3-1, with substitute coach Miguel Cairo replacing ailing manager Tony LaRusa. The Hall of Fame captain is being treated in Arizona for an unspecified medical condition.
The Twins look set to tie Cleveland for the AL Central lead. Instead, they lost their second match after winning five in a row.
Nick Gordon of Minnesota beat Joe Kelly’s 2-pointer in the first inning. He also led Cleveland 3-2 in the eighth inning when he led Max Kepler against Jimmy Lambert, giving him 11 RBIs over the last three innings.
Twins starter Sonny Gray retired after four innings with a tight right hamstring. The right-hander allowed two runs and five hits.
Kelly dropped two runs and two hits, walked two and retired in his first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2020.
Backup coach Miguel Cairo is unsure how long CF Luis Robert will be out of the squad after traveling to Florida for the birth of his second child, a boy. Robert was recently used as a pinch runner and defensive back-up as he recovered from left wrist pain.
White Sox: OF/DH Eloy Jiménez (right leg pain) dropped out of the lineup after leaving Thursday’s win over Kansas City, despite batting for Gavin Sheets in the eighth inning.
UP NEXT (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., 1060/103.1 KGFX)
White Sox ace Dylan Cease (12-6, 2.27 ERA) wins for the first time since Aug. 5, while Twins RHP Tyle Mahle (6-7, 4.17 ERA) wins for the first time since on August 17 after missing his inflamed right shoulder.