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Twins fall in Chicago as White Sox clinch playoff spot

Byron Buxton smashed two home runs, but the White Sox took three out of four games in the series.
Byron Buxton

The Minnesota Twins dropped three out of four games in a pivotal series with the Chicago White Sox as the Twins bullpen couldn't hang onto a late lead in a 4-3 loss on Thursday afternoon.

The Twins came into the game hoping to salvage a split in the four-game series and Byron Buxton was willing to put the team on his back to make it happen. 

Buxton smashed a second-inning home run that put the Twins on the board and after Jose Abreu tied the game with a bomb of his own in the third, Buxton hit second of the day in the fifth inning to put Minnesota back ahead 2-1.

The ball continued to fly out of Guaranteed Rate Field as Edwin Encarnacion tied the game for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth, which set the stage for a controversial at-bat from Josh Donaldson.

The Twins third baseman hit his fifth home run of the season to put Minnesota ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning but kicked dirt over home plate to protest a balls and strikes call. Donaldson was immediately tossed by home plate umpire Dan Bellino and the Twins turned to their bullpen to preserve the lead.

Unfortunately, the White Sox were resilient creating rallies in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings. With two outs in the seventh, Abreu legged out an infield single to tie the game and Eloy Jiminez delivered an RBI double to give the White Sox the game-winning score.

With the loss, the Twins fall three games behind the White Sox in the American League Central. While the White Sox clinched a playoff spot, the Twins will hope to make a late rally toward the top as they head to Wrigley Field to face the Chicago Cubs this weekend.

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