Engel gets big hit as White Sox top Twins 3-1

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Engel delivered a tiebreaking pinch-hit single in the eighth inning, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Monday night to increase their lead in the AL Central.

Chicago opened its pivotal four-game set against Minnesota with its ninth win in 10 games. The White Sox (31-16) moved two games ahead of the second-place Twins (30-19).

Twins reliever Taylor Rogers (1-3) walked Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert with no outs in the eighth. Engel then made it 2-1 with a bouncer up the middle.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

The White Sox have relied on their power all year, but Engel faked a bunt before swinging away.

“The shortstop vacated again so I pulled back and I just tried to hit a ground ball up in the middle,” he said.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria gave all the credit to Engel for executing.1

“These guys are aware when the opposition puts on a crash play or the wheel play, they have the autonomy to pull the bat back,” Renteria said. “You see it, you do what you do. He did a great job. That’s more of his execution. He didn’t try to do too much with the pitch. He just tried to put the ball in play.”

After Nick Madrigal lined out, Tim Anderson added an RBI double off the fence in left. Anderson had three hits, strengthening his position in the race for the AL MVP award.

“This is the moment that you want to be in,” Anderson said before the game. “It’s playoff ball, really.”

White Sox reliever Gio Gonzalez retired the first two batters in the eighth before issuing consecutive walks. Alex Colome relieved Gonzalez and walked Josh Donaldson to load the bases for Nelson Cruz, who grounded out to leave the bases loaded for the second time in the game.

Minnesota went 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base. It had won three in a row.

Colome (2-0) also worked around another adventure for left fielder Eloy Jimenez in the ninth.

Byron Buxton hit a line drive by Jimenez that went to the fence. Jimenez put his hands up because he thought the ball was lodged at the bottom of the wall. Buxton didn’t hesitate and ran around the bases for what appeared to be an inside-the-park homer.