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    Big bats in 12th inning finally send Twins to victory over White Sox to avoid sweep

    CHICAGO — The Twins’ hitting slump continued on Thursday. Somehow, it didn’t matter.

    Minnesota managed only five hits over a dozen innings, but two of them came in their five-run 12th, and the Twins avoided a sweep by gratefully accepting a 7-3 victory in 12 innings from the White Sox.

    Their offense mostly slumbered through a spring afternoon on Thursday; only twice in the first 11 innings did a Twin reach third base, on the home run trots of Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton. Even when a Twin started the 10th and 11th innings on second base, his teammates couldn’t advance him.

    But the White Sox were no better against Pablo López and five high-wire-act relievers, stranding 14 runners on base, nine of them in scoring position. And finally, facing former Twin Alex Colomé and first-day-in-the-majors Sammy Peralta, the Twins generated some luck at the plate.

    Trevor Larnach scored the go-ahead run when shortstop Tim Anderson allowed Jose Miranda’s ground ball to get by him for an error. After a walk and a force out, Nick Gordon doubled home two more runs. And when Peralta issued walks to Max Kepler and Correa, Jorge Polanco took advantage with another two-run single.

    Chicago struck back in the 12th with a leadoff single off Jovani Moran that scored another ex-Twin, Billy Hamilton. But Moran didn’t allow another baserunner, and the Twins salvaged just their second win in their last eight road games.

    López limited Chicago to only two runs over seven innings. One of them was Eloy Jiménez’s home run into the seats in left-center, however, his second home run of the series. But López, who also allowed Chicago just two runs in his April 11 start at Target Field, struck out eight and kept pitching out of trouble.

    The Twins relievers who followed took “pitching out of trouble” to the extreme once López was finished.

    Jhoan Duran walked two batters in the eighth but stranded them with a couple of infield-in groundout. Jorge López issued a couple walks but escaped when Hamilton popped up a two-out squeeze bunt. Brock Stewart, after wild-pitching Hamilton, the 10th-inning courtesy runner, to third, intentionally walked Jiménez and Luis Robert but struck out Anderson, Hanser Alberto and Elvis Andrus. And Emilio Pagan issued an intentional walk to Andrew Benintendi, then struck out Hamilton to end the 11th.

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