Twins’ Melville struggles in Game 1 loss to White Sox
CHICAGO — Carlos Rodon has been pitching well enough lately to win. He finally got a long-overdue victory Monday.
Yolmer Sanchez homered and drove in four runs, Jose Abreu hit his 25th of the season and the Chicago White Sox held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Rodon (2-4) pitched effectively into seventh inning for the fifth straight outing to earn his first win since July 3. The left-hander allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out nine.
“Another nice outing, going deep into the game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “We extended his pitch count a little more, but he was actually looking stronger at the end.”
Rodon threw 115 pitches. Going forward, the 24-year-old is expected to be an important part of the rotation for a rebuilding Chicago team.
“I would have liked to have gone a little longer, but (the Twins) are a patient, good-hitting club and made me work,” Rodon said.
Rodon, who didn’t make his first start this season until June 28 because of left biceps bursitis, had been strong in no-decisions during his four previous outings. He has a 2.25 ERA in his last five starts.
Jorge Polanco hit a three-run homer for the Twins off Derek Holland to cut it to 7-6 in the eighth. Holland, who has struggled in 24 starts this season, was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning during his second relief appearance.
Juan Minaya worked a perfect ninth for his third save.
“Not the kind of excitement you’re looking for,” Renteria said, “but Minaya did a nice job to finish off for us.”
Avisail Garcia had three hits and two RBI for AL-worst Chicago, which has won three of four. Abreu doubled and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He became the first White Sox player to hit 25 or more home runs in each of his first four seasons.
Eduardo Escobar, Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton each drove in a run for Minnesota, which had won four straight and entered tied with the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card.
Tim Melville (0-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs in his Twins debut after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start.
“To be able to be back up here is gold,” said Melville, who was 0-1 in three games last season for Cincinnati. “Down in Triple-A, we’re working hard, but it means a lot more to be up here.”
The Twins jumped ahead 1-0 in the first on Escobar’s RBI single.
Garcia’s single in the bottom half drove in Yoan Moncada and Abreu to make it 2-1. Sanchez’s three-run homer in the fourth, a few rows deep into right-center stands, stretched the lead to 5-1.
Abreu’s solo shot and Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 7-1.
Rosario’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the sixth cut it to 7-2.
The Twins loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against reliever Danny Farquhar, but settled for one run on Buxton’s sacrifice fly.
The Twins made LHP Nik Turley their 26th player for the doubleheader. He replaced Melville in the fourth and pitched 3 2/3 innings.
The White Sox added RHP Carson Fulmer from Triple-A Charlotte as the 26th man on the active roster and planned to start him in the second game. Fulmer is 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA over 24 starts this season with the farm club.
Twins: Placed All-Star 3B Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his left shin bone. Sano was pulled from Saturday’s game against Arizona and sat out Sunday. He’s batting .267 with 28 home runs and 77 RBI. . . . 1B Kennys Vargas was recalled from Triple-A Rochester for the fifth time this season to fill Sano’s spot. . . . Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said LHP Hector Santiago, out since July 2 with upper back pain, is expected to throw a bullpen Wednesday. Adalberto Mejia, sidelined since Aug. 8 with a sore left arm, will follow on Thursday. Both could make rehab appearances by the end of the month.
White Sox: Moncada missed the previous two games with shin splints. He was expected to sit out the second game. . . . RHP Reynaldo Lopez, on the 10-day DL with a strained back, played catch.
Minnesota RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 3.16 ERA) was set to face Fulmer in the second game. Gee made his most recent start for Texas on June 6 against the Mets. Fulmer makes his 2017 White Sox debut after appearing in eight games last season.