García homers twice as White Sox pound Twins 10-3
Leury García homered from both sides of the plate, helping Dallas Keuchel and the Chicago White Sox pound the Minnesota Twins 10-3 on Saturday.
Edwin Encarnación hit a two-run drive as the White Sox bounced back nicely after losing 10-5 to the reigning AL Central champions on Friday night. Eloy Jiménez and James McCann also went deep on the second day of the pandemic-delayed 60-game season.
Keuchel allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his White Sox debut after agreeing to a $55.5 million, three-year contract in December. The veteran left-hander threw 73 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Nelson Cruz connected for Minnesota, which hit a major league-record 307 homers last year. Randy Dobnak pitched four effective innings in a spot start after the Twins decided to give Rich Hill a couple more days to prepare for his debut with the team.
After Dobnak (0-1) departed, the White Sox jumped all over Zack Littell. García led off with a drive to right-center. With José Abreu aboard after a two-out single, Encarnación and Jiménez hit consecutive homers for a 5-0 lead.
It was Encarnación’s first hit for his new team after he signed a $12 million, one-year contract with Chicago in free agency. Jiménez’s drive to right hit the top of the wall and skipped over.
Littell allowed four homers in 37 innings all of last season.
Minnesota chased Keuchel (1-0) in the sixth, and Cruz hit a three-run shot off Steve Cishek. But the White Sox poured it on against the Twins’ bullpen.
McCann singled in Adam Engel before García belted a three-run drive off left-hander Devin Smeltzer in the seventh, making it 10-3 White Sox.
It was the second career multihomer game for the diminutive García, listed at 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds. It also was the 11th time a White Sox player had connected from both sides of the plate in a single game.
The White Sox announced right-hander Carson Fulmer had been claimed off waivers by Detroit. Fulmer, who was selected by Chicago with the No. 8 pick in the 2015 amateur draft, was designated for assignment on Thursday.
Twins: CF Byron Buxton, who sprained his left foot on July 13, could make his season debut in Tuesday’s home opener against St. Louis. “If it’s not the home opener, it’s not going to be probably much more than a day or two after that for (Buxton),” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Kenta Maeda makes his Twins debut in the series finale Sunday afternoon. Maeda was acquired in a February trade that moved hard-throwing prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Japanese right-hander went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA in 37 appearances last season. Reynaldo López pitches for the White Sox.