CHICAGO (AP) — Andrew Vaughn dropped his bat and had some things to say as he shook his head. He clearly was not happy after getting hit near the shoulder.
Things got heated. The dugouts cleared. And moments later, the White Sox were celebrating.
José Abreu drove in the winning run when he grounded into a force out in the ninth inning after Twins closer Jorge López hit Vaughn, and Chicago beat Minnesota 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 in the left shoulder with the next pitch.
The dugouts and bullpens emptied. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and White Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo jawed at each other. Both benches were warned. Cairo came back out and had words with crew chief Ron Kulpa before heading to the clubhouse.
“What I saw was him saying something, their pitcher López saying something to Vaughnie,” Cairo said. “He was just talking. Vaughnie didn’t do nothing. So I went over there just to protect my player. The way he came out and protected his player.”
Baldelli had a different take.
“I don’t like how that entire group ends up on our mound approaching our pitcher like that,” he said. “I thought that was wrong. But it’s an emotional game, and both teams are just trying to win.”
López insisted he wasn’t trying to hit Vaughn, who he said was “kind of giving me the ‘whatever’ face.”
“I’ve been throwing inside the whole year,” Lopez said. “I came here last time with Baltimore and I did the same thing. If they don’t like me pitching in, that’s something they can’t take out of me.”
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’s grounder deflected off the pitcher’s glove. Second baseman Nick Gordon fielded the ball and flipped it to shortstop Carlos Correa to get Vaughn at second. The Twins were unable to complete the double play, allowing Gonzalez to score from third.
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 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.
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.
Twins: Gray said he felt tightness throwing the final pitch of the third, when he retired Elvis Andrus on a comebacker.
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.
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