Trio of HRs help Twins maintain 2nd Wild Card 23 Aug 17

CHICAGO – Jorge Polanco, Kennys Vargas and Eddie Rosario homered to back a strong effort from right-hander Kyle Gibson and carry the Twins to a 4-1 win over the White Sox on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. It helped the Twins remain in the second AL Wild Card spot ahead of the Angels.

Rookie Lucas Giolito, acquired in the trade that sent Adam Eaton to the Nationals, made his first start for the White Sox, allowing four runs on six hits with four strikeouts to get pegged with the loss. Of his 99 pitches, 69 were fastballs and he got eight swing-and-misses on those pitches, with his fastball topping out at 95.8 mph.

“I was able to throw a few over the plate for the strike but I was trying to throw that good two-strike [curveball] I was spiking it a lot,” Giolito said. “I’m just going to work on that for the next one.

“I was essentially pitching with only fastball a lot of the time just trying to move it to both sides of the plate, pitch up when need be and for the most part we were able to do that. Just can’t leave it over the middle.”

Giolito — the White Sox No. 6 prospect and No. 59 prospect on MLB Pipeline.com — was hurt by home runs, serving up a solo shot to Polanco in the fourth, a solo blast to Vargas in the fifth and a two-run homer to Rosario in the sixth. It was the third straight game with a homer for Polanco.

The offense helped Gibson, who allowed one run on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out a season-high eight batters and reached the seven-inning mark for the first time since July 22.

“I’m really happy for him,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Gibson. “I can’t imagine some of the things swirling in his head before this start. But he found a way to go out there and not only [had] an outing where he got us a win, but he got us through an inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. He has to feel good about that.”