CHICAGO — Rookie Gavin Sheets hit a game-ending three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Chicago White Sox a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins in the second game of a doubleheader on Monday.
Minnesota won the opener 3-2 in eight innings, but the White Sox avoided a sweep when Sheets turned on a 3-1 fastball from Twins ace José Berrios and drove it deep to right for his fifth home run. Berrios (7-4) entered the seventh having allowed only two hits — solo shots by José Abreu and Yoán Moncada — before Brian Goodwin led off with a single and Berrios hit Andrew Vaughn with a pitch.
A wild pitch moved the runners up, then Sheets connected to win the game for Chicago.
“Man that was awesome,” Sheets said. "Never hit a walk-off homer. What a good time for one.
“Obviously I want to be a part of this run because this is the place to be right now."
Aaron Bummer (2-4) pitched a scoreless seventh. Then the White Sox broke through against Berrios in the bottom half.
“We knew we were going to have to lean on José and the way he was throwing the ball, there was no question that that was his ballgame,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I mean José for the most part of this game, he went out there and dominated the other side's lineup.”
Mitch Garver homered in his first two at-bats of the nightcap after returning from a serious groin injury.
Garver, activated from the 10-day injured list between games, hit a solo shot off Reynaldo Lopez in the second. He followed with a longer solo homer to right-centre off Matt Foster in the fourth. The 30-year-old catcher hadn't played since June 1, when he was struck by Trey Mancini's foul tip in Baltimore and needed surgery.
“Before the game, I was a wreck,” Garver said. "I was a little bit nervous to be honest with you.
“Once I got into baseball activities, it kind of went away,” Garver added. “Like Tom Petty said, ‘The waiting is the hardest part.’”
Berrios struck out eight and walked one. Lopez allowed two runs on two hits in three innings in his first start this season.
The White Sox have won eight of 10.
In the first game, Nelson Cruz hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth after tying the game with a solo homer in the sixth. Jorge Polanco added an RBI single in the eighth as Minnesota ended a three-game losing streak.
Tyler Duffey (2-2) pitched a scoreless seventh, working around two walks, for the win.
Tim Anderson homered for the third straight game and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 before sitting out the second game. Anderson was Chicago’s automatic runner in the eighth and scored on José Abreu’s double, but Hansel Robles held on for his 10th save in 12 chances.
Lance Lynn allowed one run on five hits in seven innings in a no-decision, lowering his AL-leading ERA to 1.94. The 34-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked one in his first start since he signed a new $38 million, two-year contract with Chicago that covers 2022 and 2023.
Minnesota’s Griffin Jax allowed just one hit — Anderson’s solo shot — in four innings while striking out six and walking one in his second career start. The Twins added the 26-year-old right-hander to their roster from Triple-A St. Paul as the 27th man for the doubleheader.
Jax might have gone longer if a blister on his pitching hand hadn't flared up,
“I was just worried that if I continued to go out there with the blister, that I wouldn't be able to throw my pitches with as much intent or aggressiveness as I had been early in the game," Jax said.
Anderson connected on Jax’s 2-0 fastball with two outs in the third to put Chicago ahead 1-0.
Cruz’s 19th homer, into the left-field bullpen with two outs in the sixth, tied it at 1.
White Sox CF Luis Robert will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Winston-Salem on Wednesday. He has been out since suffering a torn right hip flexor on May 2.
“I never experienced an injury as severe as that one,” Robert said through a translator on a video conference call with reporters. “I wasn't expecting to have the process go as fast as it's gone. I'm just excited.”
The speedy Robert was hitting .316 with a homer and eight RBIs when he was hurt.
Jax is a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and the first Air Force Academy graduate to play in the majors.
In his first start, at Kansas City on July 3, Jax allowed six runs in five innings in a loss. He is 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA at St. Paul.
The Twins reinstated LHP Danny Coulombe from the paternity list and optioned RHP Beau Burrows to St. Paul. … The White Sox recalled RHP Matt Foster from Triple-A Charlotte to serve as their 27th player.
Minnesota RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 5.45) faces Chicago LHP Dallas Keuchel (7-3, 4.25) on Tuesday.
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