By Rhett Bollinger and Patrick Donnelly
MINNEAPOLIS -- Avisail Garcia continued his blistering start to the season, collecting a career-high four hits, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th, to carry the White Sox to a 3-1 win over the Twins on Sunday at Target Field.
The Twins opted to pitch to Garcia with two outs and a runner at third base after reliever Ryan Pressly struck out Jose Abreu. But the decision backfired, as Garcia crushed an 0-1, 98-mph fastball the opposite way to right field for a two-run shot to finish 4-for-5.
"The first swing, I just swung hard," said Garcia, who leads the Majors with a .465 batting average. "I said to myself, 'Don't try to do too much. Just put the barrel on the ball,' because he throws hard. So that's what I did."
Twins lefty Hector Santiago kept up his strong start to the year with seven scoreless innings, scattering six hits with no walks and six strikeouts. He was stuck with a no-decision, but improved his ERA to 1.47 through three starts.
"All around, I pitched good, but the end result wasn't what we wanted," Santiago said. "I pounded the zone and was throwing a lot of strikes with early contact."
White Sox right-hander James Shields was also solid, surrendering one run on five hits and three walks and striking out five over six innings. The lone run Shields allowed came on Brian Dozier's first career inside-the-park homer in the fifth.
"He's a competitor, he's a pro," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Shields, who lowered his ERA to 1.62. "He wants to show everybody that he's still the guy who can go out there and give you a chance to win a ballgame."
The White Sox tied it at 1 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Matt Davidson off reliever Matt Belisle, scoring Abreu from third. Byron Buxton didn't quite set his feet before the throw from center, and it bounced off the mound, allowing Abreu to score.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Garcias combine to make Twins pay:Leury Garcia started the rally in the 10th with a leadoff double off Pressly, before he was bunted over to third. The Twins decided not to intentionally walk Abreu, but Pressly came through with a strikeout. They weren't as lucky with Avisail Garcia, as his two-run homer left the bat at 105.5 mph and went a projected 388 feet to right, per Statcast™.
"It's a situation where we all know how hot [Avisail Garcia] is," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm not huge on walking guys to get to other people. I thought we had a guy in there with the stuff to get out of it. But he obviously left a ball up that Garcia could handle."
Dozier races around the bases: Dozier missed Saturday's game with a sore right knee, but proved he was healthy with his inside-the-park homer. Dozier hit a 1-2 cutter from Shields into deep center field. It hit off Jacob May's glove and rolled along the warning track toward right field as Dozier circled the bases. Dozier reached home in 15.41 seconds, the 10th-fastest inside-the-park homer tracked in the Statcast™ era (since 2015).
"I saw it the whole way," Dozier said. "When I saw it kick off to the right, I decided to get to a second gear. I couldn't get to fifth gear, but got it to a different gear." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Dozier's inside-the-parker was the 52nd in Twins history, and the first since Buxton's against the White Sox on Oct. 3, 2016. It was also the second in Target Field history, joining Eduardo Nunez, who did it last year on June 2.
WHAT'S NEXT White Sox: Left-hander Derek Holland (1-1, 1.50) will look for his third straight quality start as the Sox travel to New York to face the Yankees on Monday at 6:05 p.m. CT. Outfielder Melky Cabrera will return to the active roster after missing three games due to paternity leave.
Twins: The Twins remain home to host the Indians in a four-game series that begins on Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Kyle Gibson (0-1, 8.00 ERA) starts for the Twins, looking to bounce back after being hurt by a grand slam in his last start against the Tigers.