MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Tommy Milone struck out seven in seven innings and Miguel Sano hit another monster home run to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Milone (7-4) gave up three hits and finished seven innings for the first time since July 8. Trevor Plouffe added two hits and two RBIs and Kevin Jepsen picked up his 10th save for the Twins, who started the day one game behind Texas for the second AL wild card.
Carlos Rodon (6-6) gave up two runs and five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six innings for the White Sox.
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Sano was named AL rookie of the month for August on Wednesday, but was late to the ballpark so he could get an MRI on his ailing hamstring. The exam revealed a strain, but doctors advised that he could play through the injury, and the Twins desperately need his big bat in the middle of the lineup.
It didn't take him long to make an impact. Sano led off the second inning with a 439-foot blast to dead center that hit halfway up the giant black wall behind the center field fence. It was his 15th of the season in just his 51st game.
But when he wasn't homering, Sano wasn't of much use. Hesitant to run on his bad leg, Sano slowly jogged down the first base line on a slow roller to first that the White Sox easily turned into a 3-6-1 double play in the fourth inning.
The homer left Sano's bat at 108 mph, but Rodon settled down after that. The left-hander struck out Eddie Rosario three times and got out of a two-on, no-out jam in the fourth without allowing a run.
Rodon left after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh to Eduardo Escobar. Catcher Tyler Flowers' errant pickoff throw to first base when Jose Abreu was not covering helped the Twins load the bases with no outs. Plouffe followed with a two-out, two-run double off Daniel Webb for some insurance runs.
Milone allowed one runner to reach second base in a sparkling outing.
Twins: Closer Glen Perkins was given the night off with tightness in his lower back. ... GM Terry Ryan said RHP Phil Hughes, on the DL with lower back inflammation, will throw a bullpen on Thursday.
RHP Kyle Gibson (9-9, 3.82) will pitch for the Twins in the series finale against RHP Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.85). Gibson has a 0.56 ERA in 16 innings over two starts against the White Sox this season. Samardzija is 3-1 with a 5.12 ERA in his career against the Twins.