A Hop-off Winner: Kepler HBP in 9th, Twins Top White Sox 5-4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday for their fourth straight win.
Trailing 4-3 entering their final at-bat at Target Field, the Twins came back and held their slim lead for the second AL wild-card spot. The Twins completed a three-game sweep with their first hop-off win since current Minnesota manager Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City.
Pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza opened the ninth with an infield single off closer Juan Minaya (2-2). After a one-out walk, Eddie Rosario hit a tying single.
Joe Mauer then walked to load the bases and Jorge Polanco lined back to Minaya. With the crowd on its feet, Minaya's first pitch hit Kepler in the front foot for the winning run.
Alen Hanson hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead. He connected off Matt Belisle (1-2).