MINNEAPOLIS: Byron Buxton returned with a bang and so did Michael Pineda, rallying the Minnesota Twins past the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Tuesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.
Buxton came off the injured list and had two hits, including the go-ahead single in the seventh inning. The Gold Glove center fielder also robbed Edwin Encarnacin of a home run in the sixth.
Pineda pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs and six hits in his first outing after being suspended 60 games last year for using a banned diuretic. He served the final 36 games of the penalty this season, returning to provide a big boost to Minnesota’s rotation.
Caleb Thielbar (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief after the Twins rallied against Chicagos bullpen. Matt Wisler got his second career save and first since 2016 with Atlanta.
The talented but oft-injured Buxton capped his return from left shoulder inflammation with a single to drive in Nelson Cruz in the seventh.
Jimmy Cordero (0-2) permitted two runs in relief of White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel.
Tim Anderson had three hits and Eloy Jimnez delivered a two-run double, but Chicago lost for just the third time in 15 games and fell into a tie with Cleveland atop the AL Central.
Pineda found his stride last year in his first season with Minnesota following Tommy John surgery. He was 7-1 with a 2.76 ERA in 11 starts before his suspension for a diuretic was announced in September. He was suspended 80 games before an appeal reduced the punishment to 60 games.
Pineda was allowed to work out with the team in the spring and had been pitching at the teams alternate training site before being activated.
His return to the mound got off to a bumpy start.
Anderson led off the game with an infield single after he beat Pineda to first base. Jos Abreu singled and both runners scored on Jimnezs double. Pineda then retired 11 of the next 12 batters.
The big right-hander appeared to hit a wall in the fifth when he allowed a pair of hits and a walk to load the bases, but he got Abreu to ground out weakly to end the inning.
The Twins scored a run in the fifth and then tied the game in the sixth with a pair of pinch hits. Jake Cave tripled and scored on Luis Arraezs double.
White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria said he hopes 3B Yon Moncada is able to return Wednesday after missing his third straight game with lingering soreness in the back of his left leg.
Twins: Manager Rocco Baldelli said 3B Josh Donaldson could return in a matter of a day, I would say, or two from his strained right calf. Donaldson played an intrasquad game at the teams alternate site on Monday. Hes missed the past 27 games with the injury after hitting .182 with one homer in his first seven games of the season.
Chicago sends RHP Reynaldo Lpez (0-1, 9.00 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. Lpez will be making his third start since a stint on the injured list due to right shoulder soreness. He allowed two runs in four innings, his longest outing of the season, at Kansas City last time out. Minnesota counters with RHP Jos Berros (2-3, 4.75), who gave up five runs in four innings to the White Sox in the season opener.
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