Cruz, Twins cruise to 14-4 win over White Sox

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Those 10 days off sure didn't hurt Nelson Cruz's swing.

Whatever's been thrown his way this season, Minnesota's designated hitter has rarely been deterred.

Cruz homered and drove in three runs on four hits in his second game back from a wrist injury, yet another powerful performance at the plate by the 39-year-old for the Twins in a 14-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

''When most people miss some time, it's difficult to come back and play. Sometimes guys miss two or three days and when they come back, they're off. It seems like he's never really off,'' said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who is nearly 15 months younger than Cruz.

Max Kepler hit a two-run homer to stay one ahead of Cruz for the team lead, starting pitcher Michael Pineda (9-5) stayed strong for seven innings, and the Twins raised their lead on Cleveland in the AL Central race to three games. That's the biggest it's been in two weeks.

Cruz, who gave the Twins a scare by rupturing a tendon in his left wrist during a swing in a game against the Indians on Aug. 8, returned from the minimum stay on the injured list on Monday. He's 6 for 11 with four RBIs after his reinstatement, pushing his age-defiant season totals to 33 home runs and 80 RBIs in just 89 games.

''When I come back, I don't have to, I guess, figure it out. So I make sure I do my work and whatever I need to do to prepare for every game,'' Cruz said. ''That's my routine, so I don't lose the time, I guess. Preparation, you know?''

Cruz, who signed with the Twins for $14 million this year with a club option for 2020 at a market-bargain $12 million, has 15 homers in his last 20 games. He hit a career-high three doubles in this one and became the first Twins player since Michael Cuddyer in 2005 with four extra-base hits in a game.

''It's unbelievable he's gotten to that age and still plays baseball like that,'' Pineda said. ''For me, it's very impressive.''

Jose Abreu, whose three-run home run the game before lifted the White Sox to a 6-4 win, took Pineda deep for a two-run shot after Tim Anderson's RBI double for a 3-0 lead in the third. Anderson homered in the sixth inning, too, but the damage against Reynaldo Lopez (7-11) was already done by then.

Cruz tied the game with his home run in the fourth. Then he drilled a two-run double off the wall in right field with the bases loaded in the fifth, and Eddie Rosario followed with a two-run single for a 7-3 lead. Lopez has allowed 27 homers in 26 starts this year, a career high.

''Is it hard? Yeah, because you've got some really good hitters who can do a lot of damage,'' White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. ''But those are some of the things that he's got to continue to understand.''

Lopez got the first two outs of that inning on groundballs, too, but Kepler reached on an error when Lopez fielded his checked-swing dribbler in front of the plate and watched Abreu drop his toss to first base. Then he hit Jorge Polanco with a pitch, a drawn-out at-bat extended by a loose squirrel on the field. Lopez was in his windup for an outside fastball when home plate umpire Bill Welke called time.

''It was just a bad break. That took me out of a mindset a little bit, because we had to regroup and rethink about the next pitch,'' Lopez said through a team interpreter. ''Those things happen. I think that's part of the game. If I could take that moment back, the hitter wouldn't have any chance to hit that pitch.''

Polanco hit a two-run homer in a seven-run eighth, one of six extra-base hits in the inning alone and 10 in the game for the Twins, who lead the major leagues in home runs and are third in doubles. The Twins have at least one extra-base hit in 80 straight games, their fourth-longest streak in team history.

PINEDA'S PITCHING

Pineda threw 70 of 88 pitches for strikes, a season-best percentage (79.5) by a Twins starter. He was also the first Twins starter in 20 games to finish seven innings, since Jose Berrios did so at Miami on July 31.

HOME RUN FUN

Abreu has 28 homers and 94 RBIs, zeroing in on becoming the fourth White Sox player with at least four seasons of 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs. Frank Thomas had eight, Paul Konerko five and Magglio Ordonez four.

The Twins are 26-5 when Kepler hits a home run. He has hit 31 of his 34 homers from the leadoff spot, the most in the majors.

FURRY FURY

For the second consecutive night, play was halted for a moment by a squirrel that scampered onto the field. This time, the squirrel ran from right field straight through Kepler's legs while he took a lead at first base and into Chicago's dugout during the fifth inning. The escape route wound through foul territory along the third-base line and eventually through a tiny opening at the base of the wall in left-center. Cruz was at bat on Monday when a squirrel scurried into Minnesota's dugout.

''I like seeing the guys jump around and start worrying about where the squirrel is,'' Baldelli said.

UP NEXT

White Sox RHP Lucas Giolito (13-6, 3.41 ERA) and Twins RHP Jake Odorizzi (13-5, 3.50 ERA) each take the mound on Wednesday afternoon for the series finale in a matchup of All-Stars.

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123456789RHE
CHW56-69
003001000461
MIN77-49
00214007X14140
  • W: M. Pineda (9-5)L: R. Lopez (7-11)
  • HR: CHW - T. Anderson (13), J. Abreu (28), MIN - N. Cruz (33), M. Kepler (34), J. Polanco (19)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
L. Garcia CF40100011.281.311.384.6960.5
T. Anderson SS42221011.331.354.504.8589.5
J. Abreu 1B31121001.273.313.496.8097.0
a- A. Engel PH10000000.213.278.328.6060.0
E. Jimenez LF40000011.240.291.472.763-0.5
R. Goins 3B40100010.278.366.398.7640.5
W. Castillo C30000031.202.270.371.641-1.5
J. Jay RF30000001.263.302.316.6180.0
M. Skole DH30000000.229.308.257.5650.0
Y. Sanchez 2B31100000.251.312.323.6352.0
  • a-grounded out for Abreu in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler CF53231001.256.337.537.87312.0
J. Polanco SS42121010.296.358.498.8568.5
E. Adrianza SS00000000.296.381.444.8240.0
N. Cruz DH53431000.303.390.6671.05716.0
E. Rosario LF50220001.284.308.517.8254.0
M. Sano 3B51110023.245.345.558.9023.0
L. Arraez 2B41100000.346.413.452.8654.0
M. Garver C41100012.263.342.595.9372.5
M. Gonzalez 1B-RF31000101.265.327.421.7482.0
J. Cave RF21100011.265.360.376.7361.5
a- C. Cron PH-1B21130010.259.319.475.7935.5
  • a-struck out for Cave in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - T. Anderson (23)
  • HR - T. Anderson (13), J. Abreu (28)
  • RBI - T. Anderson 2 (44), J. Abreu 2 (94)
  • 2-Out RBI - T. Anderson (15), J. Abreu 2 (37)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Jimenez
BATTING
  • 2B - M. Kepler (28), N. Cruz 3 (22), M. Sano (16), M. Garver (11), C. Cron (21)
  • HR - M. Kepler (34), J. Polanco (19), N. Cruz (33)
  • RBI - M. Kepler 3 (84), J. Polanco 2 (66), N. Cruz 3 (80), E. Rosario 2 (85), M. Sano (51), C. Cron 3 (66)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Kepler 3 (36), J. Polanco 2 (36), N. Cruz 2 (27), E. Rosario 2 (30), C. Cron 3 (23)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Sano 3 (3)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - L. Arraez (2)
FIELDING
  • E - J. Abreu (8)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Gonzalez)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Lopez (L, 7-11)6.06730325.251.488.5
J. Fry1.00000105.011.653.5
K. Herrera0.24551108.001.89-9.5
H. Santiago0.14220117.131.98-5.5
PITCHERSIP
R. Lopez (L, 7-11)6.0
J. Fry1.0
K. Herrera0.2
H. Santiago0.1
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
M. Pineda (W, 9-5)7.06440424.261.1820.0
T. Duffey (H, 8)0.20000103.021.130.5
S. Romo (H, 7)0.10000103.421.100.5
T. May1.00000103.421.203.5
PITCHERSIP
M. Pineda (W, 9-5)7.0
T. Duffey (H, 8)0.2
S. Romo (H, 7)0.1
T. May1.0
PITCHING
  • IBB - K. Herrera (4)
  • HBP - R. Lopez (7)
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Lopez 89-61, J. Fry 12-7, K. Herrera 24-17, H. Santiago 16-11
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Lopez 7-9, J. Fry 1-1, K. Herrera 1-0
  • Batters Faced - R. Lopez 26, J. Fry 3, K. Herrera 7, H. Santiago 5
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - M. Pineda 88-70, T. Duffey 11-8, S. Romo 3-3, T. May 13-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Pineda 8-8, T. May 1-1
  • Batters Faced - M. Pineda 26, T. Duffey 2, S. Romo, T. May 3
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
123456789RHE
CHW56-69
003001000461
MIN77-49
00214007X14140
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
L. Garcia CF40100011.281.311.384.6960.5
T. Anderson SS42221011.331.354.504.8589.5
J. Abreu 1B31121001.273.313.496.8097.0
a- A. Engel PH10000000.213.278.328.6060.0
E. Jimenez LF40000011.240.291.472.763-0.5
R. Goins 3B40100010.278.366.398.7640.5
W. Castillo C30000031.202.270.371.641-1.5
J. Jay RF30000001.263.302.316.6180.0
M. Skole DH30000000.229.308.257.5650.0
Y. Sanchez 2B31100000.251.312.323.6352.0
Total324642076-----
  • a-grounded out for Abreu in the 9th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Kepler CF53231001.256.337.537.87312.0
J. Polanco SS42121010.296.358.498.8568.5
E. Adrianza SS00000000.296.381.444.8240.0
N. Cruz DH53431000.303.390.6671.05716.0
E. Rosario LF50220001.284.308.517.8254.0
M. Sano 3B51110023.245.345.558.9023.0
L. Arraez 2B41100000.346.413.452.8654.0
M. Garver C41100012.263.342.595.9372.5
M. Gonzalez 1B-RF31000101.265.327.421.7482.0
J. Cave RF21100011.265.360.376.7361.5
a- C. Cron PH-1B21130010.259.319.475.7935.5
Total391414143169-----
HITTERSAB
M. Kepler CF5
J. Polanco SS4
E. Adrianza SS0
N. Cruz DH5
E. Rosario LF5
M. Sano 3B5
L. Arraez 2B4
M. Garver C4
M. Gonzalez 1B-RF3
J. Cave RF2
a- C. Cron PH-1B2
Total39
  • a-struck out for Cave in the 7th
BATTING
  • 2B - T. Anderson (23)
  • HR - T. Anderson (13), J. Abreu (28)
  • RBI - T. Anderson 2 (44), J. Abreu 2 (94)
  • 2-Out RBI - T. Anderson (15), J. Abreu 2 (37)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - E. Jimenez
BATTING
  • 2B - M. Kepler (28), N. Cruz 3 (22), M. Sano (16), M. Garver (11), C. Cron (21)
  • HR - M. Kepler (34), J. Polanco (19), N. Cruz (33)
  • RBI - M. Kepler 3 (84), J. Polanco 2 (66), N. Cruz 3 (80), E. Rosario 2 (85), M. Sano (51), C. Cron 3 (66)
  • 2-Out RBI - M. Kepler 3 (36), J. Polanco 2 (36), N. Cruz 2 (27), E. Rosario 2 (30), C. Cron 3 (23)
  • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Sano 3 (3)
BASERUNNING
  • SB - L. Arraez (2)
FIELDING
  • E - J. Abreu (8)
FIELDING
  • DP - (Gonzalez)
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
R. Lopez (L, 7-11)6.06730325.251.488.5
J. Fry1.00000105.011.653.5
K. Herrera0.24551108.001.89-9.5
H. Santiago0.14220117.131.98-5.5
Total8.0141410163---
PITCHERSIP
R. Lopez (L, 7-11)6.0
J. Fry1.0
K. Herrera0.2
H. Santiago0.1
Total8.0
PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
M. Pineda (W, 9-5)7.06440424.261.1820.0
T. Duffey (H, 8)0.20000103.021.130.5
S. Romo (H, 7)0.10000103.421.100.5
T. May1.00000103.421.203.5
Total9.0644072---
PITCHERSIP
M. Pineda (W, 9-5)7.0
T. Duffey (H, 8)0.2
S. Romo (H, 7)0.1
T. May1.0
Total9.0
PITCHING
  • IBB - K. Herrera (4)
  • HBP - R. Lopez (7)
  • Pitches-Strikes - R. Lopez 89-61, J. Fry 12-7, K. Herrera 24-17, H. Santiago 16-11
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Lopez 7-9, J. Fry 1-1, K. Herrera 1-0
  • Batters Faced - R. Lopez 26, J. Fry 3, K. Herrera 7, H. Santiago 5
PITCHING
  • Pitches-Strikes - M. Pineda 88-70, T. Duffey 11-8, S. Romo 3-3, T. May 13-9
  • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Pineda 8-8, T. May 1-1
  • Batters Faced - M. Pineda 26, T. Duffey 2, S. Romo, T. May 3
  • 8TH INNING
    Polanco homered to left, Kepler scored414
    Kepler doubled to deep right center, Cron scored412
    Cron doubled to deep center, Sano, Arraez and Gonzalez scored411
    Sano doubled to deep center, Cruz scored48
  • 6TH INNING
    Anderson homered to left47
  • 5TH INNING
    Rosario singled to right center, Polanco and Cruz scored37
    Cruz doubled to deep right, Cave and Kepler scored, Polanco to third35
  • 4TH INNING
    Cruz homered to left33
  • 3RD INNING
    Kepler homered to right center, Garver scored32
    Abreu homered to right, Anderson scored30
    Anderson doubled to right, Sanchez scored10
  • 9TH INNING
    • Ehire Adrianza at shortstop
    • Trevor May relieved Sergio Romo
    • Adam Engel hit for Jose Abreu
    • A. Engel: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Engel grounded out to third
    • E. Jimenez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Jimenez fouled out to first
    • R. Goins: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Goins struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 8TH INNING
    • Tyler Duffey relieved Michael Pineda
    • Y. Sanchez: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Sanchez lined out to right
    • L. Garcia: Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
    • Sergio Romo relieved Tyler Duffey
    • T. Anderson: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Anderson struck out swinging
    • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Kelvin Herrera relieved Jace Fry
    • N. Cruz: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Cruz doubled to deep left
    • E. Rosario: Foul, Rosario grounded out to second, Cruz to third
    • M. Sano: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Sano doubled to deep center, Cruz scored
    • L. Arraez: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Arraez singled to right, Sano to third
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Garver struck out swinging, Arraez stole second
    • M. Gonzalez: Gonzalez intentionally walked
    • C. Cron: Ball, Cron doubled to deep center, Sano, Arraez and Gonzalez scored
    • Hector Santiago relieved Kelvin Herrera
    • M. Kepler: Ball, Strike looking, Kepler doubled to deep right center, Cron scored
    • J. Polanco: Polanco homered to left, Kepler scored
    • N. Cruz: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Cruz doubled to deep left
    • E. Rosario: Rosario singled to left, Cruz to third
    • M. Sano: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
    • End of the 8th (7 Runs, 8 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 7TH INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • W. Castillo: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Castillo struck out swinging
    • J. Jay: Ball, Jay lined out to left
    • M. Skole: Strike looking, Ball, Skole grounded out to first
    • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • Jace Fry relieved Reynaldo Lopez
    • C.J. Cron hit for Jake Cave
    • C. Cron: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
    • M. Kepler: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Kepler grounded out to second
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Polanco flied out to right
    • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 6TH INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • T. Anderson: Strike looking, Foul, Anderson homered to left
    • J. Abreu: Strike looking, Abreu popped out to shortstop
    • E. Jimenez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Jimenez struck out swinging
    • R. Goins: Goins grounded out to pitcher
    • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • L. Arraez: Ball, Arraez flied out to left
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Garver lined out to center
    • M. Gonzalez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Gonzalez grounded out to second
    • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 5TH INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • M. Skole: Strike looking, Skole lined out to left
    • Y. Sanchez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Sanchez grounded out to second
    • L. Garcia: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Garcia flied out to left
    • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Ball, Garver grounded out to third
    • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Strike looking, Gonzalez grounded out to shortstop
    • J. Cave: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Cave singled to left
    • M. Kepler: Kepler safe at first on 1st baseman Abreu fielding error, Cave to third
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Polanco hit by pitch, Kepler to second
    • N. Cruz: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Cruz doubled to deep right, Cave and Kepler scored, Polanco to third
    • E. Rosario: Rosario singled to right center, Polanco and Cruz scored
    • M. Sano: Ball, Sano lined out to left
    • End of the 5th (4 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
  • 4TH INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • R. Goins: Strike looking, Goins grounded out to second
    • W. Castillo: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Castillo struck out swinging
    • J. Jay: Ball, Jay flied out to left
    • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • N. Cruz: Cruz homered to left
    • E. Rosario: Foul, Rosario grounded out to first
    • M. Sano: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Sano struck out swinging
    • L. Arraez: Arraez popped out to shortstop
    • End of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
  • 3RD INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • M. Skole: Strike looking, Skole flied out to deep right
    • Y. Sanchez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Sanchez singled to right
    • L. Garcia: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Garcia lined out to right
    • T. Anderson: Strike swinging, Anderson doubled to right, Sanchez scored
    • J. Abreu: Foul, Abreu homered to right, Anderson scored
    • E. Jimenez: Strike looking, Jimenez grounded out to shortstop
    • Middle of the 3rd (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • M. Garver: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Garver doubled to deep center
    • M. Gonzalez: Ball, Ball, Gonzalez grounded out to second, Garver to third
    • J. Cave: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cave struck out swinging
    • M. Kepler: Ball, Kepler homered to right center, Garver scored
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Polanco struck out swinging
    • End of the 3rd (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 2ND INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • R. Goins: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Goins singled to center
    • W. Castillo: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Castillo struck out swinging
    • J. Jay: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Jay lined into double play first, Goins out at first
    • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • E. Rosario: Ball, Strike swinging, Rosario flied out to left
    • M. Sano: Strike looking, Foul, Sano lined out to left
    • L. Arraez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Arraez fouled out to third
    • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
  • 1ST INNING
    • M. Pineda Pitching:
    • L. Garcia: Ball, Foul, Foul, Garcia reached on an infield single to third
    • T. Anderson: Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Anderson grounded out to shortstop, Garcia to second
    • J. Abreu: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Abreu grounded out to third, Garcia to third
    • E. Jimenez: Jimenez grounded out to third
    • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
    • R. Lopez Pitching:
    • M. Kepler: Kepler flied out to left
    • J. Polanco: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Polanco flied out to left
    • N. Cruz: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Cruz grounded out to second
    • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)