White Sox down Twins, extend AL Central lead

Rookie right-hander Dane Dunning pitched seven strong innings and Tim Anderson and James McCann both hit home runs Tuesday as the host Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-2 to extend their lead in the American League Central.

Anderson and Jose Abreu both had three hits apiece for Chicago (32-16), which has won 22 of 27 to surge to the best record in the AL. The White Sox have won five straight, and now sit three games up on the Twins in the AL Central.

Minnesota has lost the first two games of the four-game set after coming to Chicago with victories in 10 of its last 12. The Twins (30-20) were limited to four hits. The first five batters in the lineup — Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario — were a combined 1-for-16 with six strikeouts.

Dunning (2-0) did much of the damage, tossing a career-high seven innings to win his second straight start. He scattered two runs and three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Relievers Jace Fry and Matt Foster recorded the last six outs, with Fry striking out all four batters he faced.

Eloy Jimenez delivered a two-out RBI single in the first inning to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead, an advantage that held up until the third, when Minnesota’s Byron Buxton raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

Buxton, who had an inside-the-park homer overturned by replay review Monday, hit a shot to center field that bounced away from a diving Luis Robert.

Robert atoned for the play in the bottom half. One batter after McCann lined a go-ahead double against Twins right-hander Randy Dobnak, Robert punctuated the rally with a two-run single to center, putting Chicago ahead 4-1.

After missing Monday’s game with the ailments that forced them to leave Sunday’s contest, Twins left fielder Rosario (elbow) and first baseman Miguel Sano (neck) returned to the lineup Tuesday. Marwin Gonzalez remained out with a non- COVID-19 related illness, but Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said Gonzalez was feeling better and could be available off the bench.

Dobnak (6-4) took the loss, scattering four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Buxton had two hits.

Anderson and McCann hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh inning, respectively, as Chicago padded the lead.

Cruz and manager Rocco Baldelli were ejected in the middle of the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.