Mauer, Gibson lead Twins to 8-3 win over White Sox
By Brian Hall
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer reached base three times and Kyle Gibson capped a season of improvement with six quality innings in the Minnesota Twins’ 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
Mauer had two hits and scored twice in what could be his final homestand after a 15-year career in Minnesota. Mauer has said he’ll contemplate retirement once the season is over, but he’s showing he can still swing the bat with a strong September.
Mauer, who entered the day with a major league-leading .410 average with runners in scoring position, drove in a run with a single as part of a six-run second inning. He is hitting .365 with eight RBIs in his last 16 games.
Gibson (10-13) allowed one run on three hits and three walks to lower his ERA to 3.62. The right-hander had a 5.07 ERA each of the past two seasons, but continued the growth he showed at the end of last season after returning from the minors.
Jorge Polanco added three hits and Jake Cave drove in three runs for the Twins, who tied a season high with their fifth straight win.
Chicago starter Carlos Rodon (6-8) was knocked out six batters into the second inning without retiring an out. He surrendered eight runs on six hits and four walks in his 21st start of the season after returning from shoulder surgery.
The White Sox lost for the 10th time in 13 games and are 62-99. A loss Sunday would be their first 100-loss season since losing 106 games in 1970.
AN UNWANTED RECORD
Chicago struck out nine times in the game to set a new major league record for a team in a season. White Sox batters have struck out 1,579 times this season, breaking the mark of 1,571 set by the Milwaukee Brewers last season.
Second baseman Yoan Moncado struck out for the 216th time, the highest total in the majors this season and the fourth-most in a single season in history.
Moncado is three strikeouts behind Chris Davis, who had 219 in 2016. The record is held by Mark Reynolds, who struck out 223 times in 2009.
White Sox: C Omar Narvaez left the game in the third inning with low back stiffness. He was replaced by Kevan Smith.
Twins: Mitch Garver was out of the lineup a day after getting four hits and six RBIs because manager Paul Molitor wanted to go with Tyler Austin and Joe Mauer at first base and designated hitter, respectively. Garver recently returned from a concussion and won’t be used as a catcher again this season.
Minnesota will end the season with rookie right-hander Zack Littell (0-2, 6.61 ERA) starting Sunday, with Chicago going with right-hander Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.06). It will be Littell’s eighth major league appearance and second start. His previous start was against the White Sox in his debut on June 5 when he gave up six runs in three innings. Covey is 0-6 with a 6.08 ERA over his last eight starts but has 12 scoreless innings over his past two starts.