Max Kepler slugged a pair of home runs and Bailey Ober threw five shutout innings as the last-place Minnesota Twins prevailed over the first-place Chicago White Sox 8-5 on Tuesday night.
Kepler came into Monday's game hitting .167 since his return from a hamstring injury on June 18 but had no problems against the White Sox. After hitting a home run in Sunday's victory over the Kansas City Royals, Kepler put the Twins on the board in the second inning with a two-run homer off Dylan Cease.
The Twins extended their lead in the third inning with an RBI single from Trevor Larnach and that was more than enough run support for Ober. The rookie allowed just two hits on the night while striking out seven to keep the Twins in front but the White Sox took advantage when Caleb Thielbar entered the game in the sixth.
Jose Abreu smashed a solo shot to the third deck at Target Field before Nick Gordon made it a 5-1 game with a bases-clearing triple in the bottom half of the sixth.
After Gordon scored on a wild pitch, the Twins were up 6-1 before the bullpen made it interesting in the seventh inning. Leury Garcia drove in a pair of runs with an RBI single and Yoan Moncada delivered two more on a triple to make it a 6-5 game.
With the game in question, Kepler came through in the eighth inning, hitting an opposite-field solo shot to put the Twins ahead 7-5.
Andrelton Simmons drove in an insurance run on a safety squeeze and Hansel Robles closed it out in the ninth to secure Ober's first career victory.
The Twins (35-48) will send José Berríos to the mound on Tuesday night against Chicago's Carlos Rodón in the second game of the series with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m.