CHICAGO (AP) — Jose Abreu drove in the winning run with a fielder’s choice grounder in the ninth inning after Minnesota closer Jorge López hit Andrew Vaughn to ignite a heated confrontation, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 4-3 on Friday night.
The White Sox had runners on first and second with one out after back-to-back singles by Romy Gonzalez and Elvis Andrus. They loaded the bases when Lopez hit Vaughn almost in the face.
That led to the bullpens and benches emptying, with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and White Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo jawing at each other. Cairo also had words with crew chief Ron Kulpa before heading to the clubhouse.
Lopez (4-7) then appeared to hit Abreu with the next pitch, setting off a celebration by the White Sox. The ball apparently grazed the bat and the call was overturned. Chicago won it two pitches later when Abreu sent a grounder toward second and Gonzalez scored as the Twins were unable to complete the double play.
Rookie Davis Martin threw three-hit ball over five scoreless innings in relief. Yasmani Grandal hit a tying home run in the eighth against Caleb Thielbar after Minnesota scored in the top half to take a 3-2 lead, and Liam Hendriks (3-3) pitched around a single in the ninth.
The White Sox won their third in a row after losing 10 of 12. They pulled within three games of first-place Cleveland and prevented the Twins from tying the Guardians for the AL Central lead.
The White Sox also improved to 3-1 with bench coach Miguel Cairo filling in for ailing manager Tony La Russa. The Hall of Fame skipper is in Arizona tending to an unspecified medical condition.
The Twins looked like they were in position to tie Cleveland for the AL Central lead. Instead, they lost their second straight after winning five in a row.
Minnesota’s Nick Gordon smacked a two-run double off Joe Kelly in the first inning. He also put Cleveland ahead 3-2 lead in the eighth when he drove in Max Kepler with a groundout against Jimmy Lambert, giving him 11 RBIs in the past three games.
Twins starter Sonny Gray exited after four innings because of tightness in his right hamstring. The right-hander gave up two runs and five hits.
Kelly gave up two runs and two hits, walked two and struck out two in his first start since 2020 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bench coach Miguel Cairo wasn’t sure how long CF Luis Robert would be away from the team after travelling to Florida for the birth of his second child — a boy. Robert has been used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement lately while recovering from a sore left wrist.
White Sox: OF/DH Eloy Jiménez (right leg soreness) was out of the lineup after leaving Thursday’s win over Kansas City, though he batted for Gavin Sheets in the eighth.
White Sox ace Dylan Cease (12-6, 2.27 ERA) eyes his first win since Aug. 5, while Twins RHP Tyle Mahle (6-7, 4.17 ERA) makes his first start since Aug. 17 after being sidelined because of right shoulder inflammation.