MINNEAPOLIS — Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as the Minnesota Twins completed a two-run, ninth-inning comeback in a 5-4 win against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
Chicago’s Alen Hanson hit a solo homer off Minnesota closer Matt Belisle in the top of the ninth to break a tie, but the Twins rallied against new White Sox closer Juan Minaya (2-2).
Ehire Adrianza led off the inning with a single and Brian Dozier walked before Eddie Rosario tied the game with an RBI single. Joe Mauer was walked to load the bases. With two outs, Minaya hit Kepler’s back foot with a pitch to plate Dozier for the winning run.
Minaya allowed two runs on two hits and two walks as Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games.
Belisle (1-2) surrendered the homer and a walk, while striking out three batters in a non-save situation. Minnesota (70-63) won its fourth straight game and maintained its spot as the second wild-card team in the American League.
The White Sox took their first lead of the series in the second inning. Matt Davidson led off the inning with a double and scored on Rob Brantly’s single. Adam Engel doubled in Brantly.
Minnesota answered with one run in the bottom of the frame as Eduardo Escobar tripled and came home on Zack Granite’s single.
Both veteran starters, Bartolo Colon and Miguel Gonzalez, were allowing hits but keeping the opponent from any big innings.
Yolmer Sanchez added an RBI single in the fourth to give Chicago a 3-1 lead, but the Twins tied the game in the fifth. Dozier singled to start the inning. With two outs, Jorge Polanco and Kepler hit back-to-back RBI doubles.
Colon gave up at least 10 hits for the fourth time this season and the most he’s allowed in nine starts with Minnesota. But the right-hander has escaped trouble despite traffic on the bases over the past month.
Colon entered the game with 37 hits and nine walks allowed in 33 2/3 innings in August, but he held a 3.20 ERA over his five starts in the month. He finished six innings with 10 hits allowed, three runs and a season-high eight strikeouts.
Gonzalez had been on his own steady run with a 1.29 ERA and .204 opponent batting average in his previous four starts. Gonzalez yielded three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.
NOTES: Minnesota got some good news on CF Byron Buxton, who left Wednesday’s game with a hand injury. Buxton had an MRI exam Thursday with the team fearing an injury to the hamate bone. But the test showed no fracture and Buxton is considered day-to-day with a bone contusion in his hand. … Chicago 1B Jose Abreu and SS Tim Anderson were held out of the lineup on Thursday for what are considered minor injuries. Abreu is dealing with an injury to his right elbow while Anderson has a hamstring injury. Manager Rick Renteria said he expects both to return on Friday against Tampa Bay. … Twins 3B Miguel Sano continues to make slow progress in his recovery from a left shin stress reaction. Sano was leaving the stadium for more tests before Thursday’s game. … Minnesota LHP Adalberto Mejia had a strong rehab outing Wednesday and manager Paul Molitor said the reports were encouraging and Mejia’s velocity was up again. He’ll make another rehab start Monday. … Renteria said INF Yoan Moncada is still resting his right shin contusion and the team will discuss his return to baseball activities when it returns to Chicago.