CHICAGO — Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor doesn’t have much to complain about, especially when it comes to the way his offense is producing.
Heading into the third game of a five-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, the Twins have scored 43 runs in their past five games. They are 4-1 in those contests.
The Twins scored 16 runs in a doubleheader split against the White Sox on Monday. Minnesota won the nightcap 10-2, hitting four home runs. They scored six runs in the second inning.
“Offenses have a tendency to flow when you’re getting contributions throughout, and we’re fortunate that’s the way it’s been working out of late,” Molitor said. “It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were scuffling and trying to find ways to score. But I like this trend a lot better.”
The Twins continue to get production up and down their lineup, including from Jorge Polanco, who hit a pair of three-run homers during the doubleheader, and Byron Buxton, who added a home run. The multifaceted offensive attack has kept pressure off individual hitters, Molitor said, and will be key with third baseman Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list due to a stress fracture in his left shin.
Sano, who has 28 home runs and 77 RBIs this season, was placed on the disabled list on Monday (retroactive to Sunday). Although Molitor hopes Sano is able to come back as quickly as possible, he admitted that he will have to be careful with the 24-year-old once Sano returns given the nature of the injury.
That may impact the way Molitor constructs his lineup as the Twins attempt to keep rolling offensively.
“(Sano’s production) is tough to make up for,” Molitor said. “I really don’t like the notion that guys have to step up and do more. You’re aware you’ve lost a big bat in the middle of your lineup, and we’re going to mix and match and give different people opportunities to maybe hit in a little more significant roles. But they still have to be who they are.”
On Tuesday, the Twins will face Lucas Giolito, the prized prospect who will make his White Sox debut. Giolito went 0-1 in six games (four starts) with the Washington Nationals in 2016. He is 6-10 with a 4.48 ERA in 24 starts for Triple-A Charlotte this year.
Giolito will face Kyle Gibson (6-10, 6.05 ERA), who will make his first start against the White Sox this season and is 5-2 with a 2.37 ERA in nine career starts against them.
A day after the White Sox called up Carson Fulmer from Triple-A Charlotte to start against the Twins in the second game of the doubleheader, Giolito will be the next youngster to be called up to the big-league club as the White Sox continue to give talented prospects their chance.
Fulmer gave up six runs in just 1 1/3 innings on Monday.
“Some of these guys are learning how to carry certain roles,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re showing more and more confidence in what they’re doing. I think that bodes well for everybody; the club and the organization, themselves as performers. Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do, depending on where they’re at, the way they’re pitching, the way they’re throwing the ball.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to put them in the best possible position to do what they can.”
Minnesota enters play Tuesday holding a half-game lead on the Los Angeles Angels for the second American League wild card.
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