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Kepler, Polanco power Twins past AL Central-leading Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Max Kepler homered in his second straight game, Jorge Polanco also went deep, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The Twins beat the AL Central leaders for just the fourth time in 16 games. They bounced back after Chicago rallied late to win Tuesday’s game and came out on top after losing five of six.

Kepler gave the Twins a 1-0 lead when he led off the third inning by sending a low curve from Chicago starter Dylan Cease (7-6) ringing off the right field foul pole. It was his second straight game with a homer.

Polanco singled and scored in a two-run fifth. He made it 6-1 in the sixth with a three-run homer into the right-field bullpen against Codi Heuer.

Michael Pineda (4-5) went five innings, allowing one run and four hits, in his first win since May 26. He was 0-3 in his previous four starts.

Cease gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. The 25-year-old right-hander is 0-3 in his last four starts.

Adam Engel had an RBI single in the third. Andrew Vaughn doubled in a run in the eighth. But the White Sox lost after winning nine of 11.

Trainer’s room

Twins: Minnesota OF/1B Alex Kirilloff has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right wrist ligament tear (retroactive to July 20). Surgery to repair the ligament has been scheduled for later this week. “It was something that he was playing through,” manager Rocco Baldelli said of Kirilloff’s tear. “We knew there could be a point in the year where he just could not continue playing through this and the smart thing to do would be to have the procedure.” … The Twins have recalled C/INF Willians Astudillo from Triple-A St. Paul to replace Kirilloff. Astudillo logged 41 games for Minnesota earlier this season, hitting .254 (31-for-122) with four doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI and a .661 OPS before being optioned to Triple-A on June 19.

Up next

The White Sox have a day off Thursday before heading to Milwaukee to start a three-game series with the first-place Brewers on Friday night. They’ll send RHP Lucas Giolito (8-6, 3.90 ERA) to the mound to take on RHP Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.39 ERA). Giolito will look to ride momentum from his last outing in which he allowed one run on three hits while striking out eight over nine innings in a win over Houston.

Minnesota returns home Thursday night to host the Los Angeles Angels. RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 4.71) will face off against LHP Andrew Heaney (5-7, 5.56). Maeda was unable to gain a decision in his most recent start, striking out eight and allowing three earned runs in five innings against the Tigers.

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