The White Sox have buried the Twins.
The defending AL Central champions were already gasping with an 11 1/2 game deficit going into the series, but left town 14 1/2 back after the first-place Sox completed a three-game sweep with an 8-5 victory Thursday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Brian Goodwin and Zack Collins homered a day after the Sox hit six in a 13-3 win, and the Sox bounced back after left-hander Carlos Rodon surrendered a 3-0 lead in a four-run Twins fifth by scoring in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“This club is resilient, man, relentless,” manager Tony La Russa said.
“It was one of the weirdest innings I’ve seen, a guy pitching so good and all of a sudden gives up four. But we came back and scored and the bullpen held them. Shows how tough these guys are between the ears.”
Michael Kopech (3-0) pitched a scoreless sixth in his first appearance since May 26.
“It was a huge series for us,” Collins said. “I wouldn’t say anything is permanent in baseball until the season but it was good to get three wins against those guys. We have to keep taking care of business and get as many Ws as we can.”
The Sox (48-32) are 8-1 against the Twins (33-46) and have outscored them 76-37. The Sox have won four straight following a stretch of seven losses in eight games.
Moncada injures hand, likely out for Tigers series
Third baseman Yoan Moncada left the game with a bruised right hand and will likely miss the upcoming weekend series in Detroit, La Russa said.
Moncada made an awkward head-first slide into third base on Jose Abreu’s single in the third inning, and rolled over his hand, which swelled up on him. He stayed in the game and scored on Yasmani Grandal’s single but did not take his position in the top of the fourth inning.
Moncada, who missed Tuesday’s game against the Twins with a sore right shoulder, singled twice in two plate appearances.
Another first for Vaughn
Andrew Vaughn moved from left field to play third base for the first time. A first baseman converted to the outfield this season, Vaughn took the corner as Billy Hamilton entered the game in center field, moving Brian Goodwin to left field.
Vaughn was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and went 6-for-9 in the series with a homer and four RBI. He was replaced by Leury Garcia as a defensive replacement in the eighth.
Sheets has a series
Gavin Sheets, like Vaughn a converted first baseman, played all three games in right field after his callup from Triple-A Charlotte and went 5-for-11 with a home run, two doubles, five RBI and two runs scored. Sheets’ strong showing could force the Sox into a tough roster decision when veteran Adam Eaton (hamstring) is ready to return from the IL. Eaton, signed to a $7 million deal in the offseason, is batting .195/.296/.345.
Sheets is the second player in Sox history to record at least one hit and RBI in each of his first three career games.
This and that
Ryan Burr (0.00 ERA) pitched the eighth and allowed a hit for only the second time this season and has retired 18 of the last 19 batters faced.
*Yasmani Grandal (RBI single) has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .302/.392/.605 with four home runs in that stretch.