Minnesota Twins

Max Kepler sacrifice fly in 9th lifts Twins to 6-5 win over White Sox

The red-hot Minnesota Twins have won nine straight games

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Max Kepler hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the ninth inning and the Minnesota Twins won their ninth straight game, beating the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Tuesday night.

The Twins extended their best win streak since a 10-game run in June 2008. They also won their seventh in a row against the White Sox and put themselves in position to sweep Chicago again after taking four at Target Field last week, though this one certainly wasn’t easy.

Chicago’s Andrew Benintendi homered leading off the eighth to tie it at 5 after Minnesota scored twice in the top half. But the Twins pulled it out in the ninth.

Byron Buxton walked leading off against Michael Kopech (0-3) and took third on Manuel Margot’s one-out single. Kepler then put Minnesota on top with a sacrifice fly to center.

Jhoan Duran pitched around a leadoff single by Tommy Pham in the bottom half and picked up the save after missing the Twins’ first 28 games because of a strained right oblique muscle. Caleb Thielbar (1-1) recorded the final two outs in the eighth.

The Twins didn’t get a hit until the fifth, when they scored twice and chased White Sox starter Michael Soroka.

Danny Mendick gave Chicago a 4-2 lead with a two-run homer against reliever Kody Funderburk in the fifth inning.

Ryan Jeffers swiped home for the Twins as part of a double steal in the sixth. Carlos Correa hit an RBI single against Jordan Leasure in the eighth and scored on Trevor Larnach’s base hit to put Minnesota on top 5-4. But the Twins left the bases loaded when Kyle Farmer grounded into a force against Prelander Berroa.

Benintendi tied it when he led off the bottom half against Cole Sands with his third homer. Mendick doubled, but Robbie Grossman struck out. Thielbar then retired Korey Lee on a pop fly and Nicky Lopez on a grounder.

Soroka gave up two runs and three hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander has a 6.48 ERA through seven starts.

Minnesota's Simeon Woods Richardson went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and seven hits. The 23-year-old right-hander threw 81 pitches in his fourth career start and third this season.


Twins: Duran was reinstated from the 15-day injured list prior to the game. He was hurt while warming up for a live batting practice session in spring training on March 17.


The three-game series wraps up with RHP Bailey Ober (2-1, 4.21 ERA) pitching for Minnesota and RHP Chris Flexen (1-3, 5.11) getting the ball for Chicago. Ober has a 1.48 ERA in four starts since getting pounded in a loss at Kansas City on March 31. Flexen threw five scoreless innings in a win over Tampa Bay last week.

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