Twins lose 6-2 to Chicago White Sox

Published 9:17 am Monday, April 13, 2015

CHICAGO — Phil Hughes surrendered five consecutive hits in the first inning. Eduardo Nunez dropped a fly ball and Eduardo Escobar misplayed a popup in the second. Blaine Boyer faced four batters in the eighth and each of them got a hit.

At least the Minnesota Twins are heading home.

Joe Mauer and Danny Santana had two hits apiece, but the Twins closed out a disappointing road trip with a 6-2 loss to Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

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“It’s a bad week,” outfielder Torii Hunter said. “You have those weeks during the season, but it just so happened to start at the beginning.”

Minnesota dropped to 1-5 under new manager Paul Molitor heading into the home opener on Monday against Kansas City. The game against the AL champion Royals kicks off a six-game homestand.

“It’s not good. Not the road trip we wanted to have,” said Hughes, who lasted six innings after getting off to the slow start. “It’s so early. We’re going home and we know the atmosphere is going to be good there. So hopefully we’ll get in a little bit of a groove.”

Sale pitched six solid innings in his return from a foot injury, helping the White Sox to their second straight win after dropping their first four games. Adam LaRoche homered for the second straight day and Alexei Ramirez also drove in two runs, including an RBI single in Chicago’s three-run eighth.

Sale, who broke a bone in his right foot in an accident at home in February, threw 72 of his 98 pitches for strikes in his first start of 2015. He allowed one run and five hits, struck out eight and walked one.

“It can always get better, but definitely satisfied with what we had today,” Sale said. “Felt good to get out there, face some major league hitters.”

Minnesota trimmed Chicago’s lead to 2-1 on Santana’s RBI double in the third, but LaRoche drove Hughes’ first pitch of the bottom half into the visiting bullpen in right.

Gordon Beckham added a two-run homer in the ninth as Chicago set season highs for runs and hits (12).

“I like the way we’ve bounced back,” Beckham said. “Yesterday wasn’t a blowout win and we got down early and it kind of showed that we’ve got some belief in ourselves to come back and get that win. Come out today and keep that momentum going.”

Sale (1-0) struck out his final two batters after Hunter reached on an infield single. The ace improved to 7-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 17 games against the Twins.

Hughes (0-2) allowed eight hits, struck out four and walked none. The right-hander also pounded the zone, recording 69 strikes in his 98 pitches.

“We need to do a better job of getting some better starts out of our guys,” Hughes said. “It starts with me.”