MINNEAPOLIS — With a runner at third and two outs in the 10th inning, Avisail Garcia swung hard and missed on the first pitch he saw against Minnesota reliever Ryan Pressly.
Garcia stepped out of the box, collected himself and thought about what’s worked this season: just put the bat on the ball.
Garcia had a career-high four hits, including an opposite-field, two-run homer in the 10th that gave the Chicago White Sox a 3-1 win over the Twins on Sunday.
“I said to myself, ‘Hey, don’t try to do too much,'” Garcia said. “Just put the barrel on the ball because he throws hard. That’s what I do. I just tried to put a good swing, see the ball and hit it.”
Leury Garcia doubled off Pressly (0-2) leading off the 10th and advanced on Tyler Saladino’s sacrifice. Jose Abreu struck out and Garcia drove a high fastball over the seats and into the right field plaza.
“It’s a situation where we all know how hot he is, but I’m not huge on walking guys to get to other people and I feel my guy’s got the stuff to get him out with,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “Obviously, he left the ball up where he could handle it. Tough one to swallow.”
Nate Jones (1-0) struck out two in a perfect ninth, and David Robertson fanned his first two batters in a 1-2-3 10th for his third save in three chances.
Garcia entered the year hitting .262 through five major league seasons, but the 6-foot-4 Venezuelan increased his league-leading average to .465.
“I think he’s focusing on just making good contact,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “I can guarantee you he didn’t go up there thinking he was going to hit a homer. He just wanted to get a pitch to hit. With a man that strong, you put a good swing on a ball and you click it, it’s got a chance to go.”
Brian Dozier hit an inside-the-park home run for the Twins, the first of his career and the first for a Minnesota player since Byron Buxton on Oct. 2, 2016 in Chicago.
A day after sitting out to due to right knee swelling, Dozier raced around the bases after his fifth-inning drive deflected off center fielder Jacob May’s glove.
White Sox starter James Shields yielded five hits and three walks in six innings for his third consecutive strong start this season.
The most curious aspect of Shields’ outing was the slow breaking ball he was throwing. He had a few pitches register in the high 60s mph, and the stadium’s video board labeled the offerings Eephus pitches.
“It’s kind of funny; I’ve never seen that before,” Shields said. “Just a slower curveball. I’ve kind of messed around with it a little bit. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good feel for it, so I’ve been throwing it a little bit more than normal.”
SANTIAGO AGAINST THE SOX
Twins’ starter Hector Santiago gave up six hits in seven innings, walked none and struck out six. Santiago is 5-1 against Chicago, where he pitched the first three years of his career after being drafted there in 2006.
He’s allowed six earned runs in 38 2/3 innings against the White Sox.
White Sox: 3B Todd Frazier did not play because of flu-like symptoms. Renteria said Frazier has been feeling dehydrated. He missed two games last week, and returned, leaving Saturday’s game early with recurrence of the symptoms.
Twins: INF Ehire Adrianza (right oblique strain) will report to Fort Myers, Florida, to begin playing in extended spring training games on Monday. . . . LHP Ryan O’Rourke (left forearm strain) has been throwing at 60 feet and his next step will be to toss from 90 feet.
White Sox: Chicago’s three-city trip ends in New York, where LHP Derek Holland (1-1, 1.50 ERA) is to start Monday against the Yankees. Holland allowed one hit in six scoreless innings in his last outing.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-1, 8.00) starts Monday as Minnesota opens a four-game home series against Cleveland. Gibson surrendered five runs in four innings in a loss to Detroit last week.