MINNEAPOLIS -- — Nick Madrigal had three hits, including his first major league homer, and Danny Mendick launched his first career grand slam as the Chicago White Sox beat the struggling Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Monday night.
Seven players had multiple hits for Chicago, which posted season highs in hits (18) and runs. The White Sox have won nine of their past 11 games, including four straight wins against Minnesota.
“We put out a little bit of a clinic, hitting-wise,” Mendick said.
Dallas Keuchel (3-1) was the beneficiary, pitching seven innings and allowing three runs on seven hits.
J.A. Happ (2-2) was roughed up again by the White Sox. The left-hander permitted six runs in 3 2/3 innings and has given up 15 runs to Chicago in his past two starts.
“It was just a bunch of good at-bats up and down the lineup,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Every third of it was dangerous and relentless.”
Happ had allowed just six runs in his first five starts for the Twins after signing as a free agent in the offseason. His ERA has risen from 1.91 to 5.35 in the past two starts.
“This is a couple of tough ones in a row, no doubt,” Happ said. “As far as where I’m at throwing the ball, I feel like I can turn it around.”
“We’ve played some forgettable games and this was another one,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I do think that it’s fair to say that the way we’re playing, we never want to normalize what we’re seeing right now. This is not OK. We all have to know that, acknowledge it, own it and do what we need to do going forward to make sure that this doesn’t persist because it was hard. That was a hard game to get through.”
The White Sox have enjoyed facing left-handed pitching in 2021. They started the day with an .853 OPS against left-handers to lead the majors. St. Louis was second with an .814 mark.
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For the home fans who stayed to the end, they cheered another pitching performance from position player Willians Astudillo, a fan favorite.
Astudillo threw a series of eephus pitches to Chicago batters. With two outs, early-season surprise Yermín Mercedes then homered on a 3-0 count for his sixth homer an estimated 430 feet to the bullpens in left-center field.
White Sox: 1B José Abreu will miss the entire series with left ankle inflammation. Abreu was injured sliding into home plate Sunday. X-rays were negative and an MRI showed inflammation. La Russa said Abreu will possibly return for Friday night’s game in New York after an off day on Thursday.
Twins: C Mitch Garver left in the fourth inning with a bruised right knee. Garver took a pitch off the knee earlier in the game. The team said he’s considered day to day. He was replaced by Astudillo, who was available after he was hit by a pitch on the left hand Sunday. … RHP Kenta Maeda will throw Tuesday to determine whether he will be able to make his next scheduled start as he deals with groin tightness. … OF Max Kepler was out of the lineup as he deals with a hamstring injury, and Baldelli said Kepler could need “a little time.” … Twins rookie Alex Kirilloff, on the injured list with a right wrist sprain, took batting practice and could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul this week.
Chicago RHP Lance Lynn (4-1, 1.30 ERA) will make his first start in Minnesota since he was traded from the Twins to the New York Yankees in 2018. Lynn earned a win against Minnesota in his last start on May 13 when he gave up just an unearned run in five innings. RHP Michael Pineda (2-2, 2.79) will start for the Twins. Pineda allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings opposite Lynn that day.
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