Samardzija sharp as White Sox snap 7-game road skid

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Jeff Samardzija improved to 5-4 by holding the Twins to two runs over seven innings. AP

MINNEAPOLIS — Jeff Samardzija pitched seven strong innings, and his catcher, Geovany Soto, contributed two RBI singles as the White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-2 for their third victory in four games on Tuesday night.

Jose Abreu collected a career-high four hits and scored two runs, Adam Eaton was 3-for-5 including an RBI double and Melky Cabrera doubled, scored a run and drove in a run with a single.

Samardzija (5-4, 4.53 ERA), who won for the first time since May 22, allowed eight hits and one walk and struck out seven. Jake Petricka got the last five outs in relief to earn his second save. Mike Pelfrey (5-4) lost for the first time in seven starts at home.

Eddie Rosario homered off Samardzija in the first inning.

The Sox (31-39), who had lost nine of their previous 11 games, scored more than three runs for the first time in 10 games — their longest such streak since 1976 — and halted a seven-game road losing streak. They had lost their previous five games at Target Field.

“We ended up swinging the bats tonight,” manager Robin Ventura said. “After the first inning you could fall into a trap of ‘it’s not happening’ and guys stayed with it, Melky had a big one just to put us ahead and then guys added on, good at-bats, they just kept grinding away. It was a good win for us tonight.”

The Sox scored four runs after two outs.

“When you can produce with two outs, it’s very important because that’s is a difficult moment,” said Abreu, who raised his average to .300. “You probably have the inning on the line, and for us, it’s important. It’s important any time you can produce after two outs. We did it today. I don’t know how to explain, but we did it today, and it’s a good first step.”

Soto threw out Byron Buxton attempting to steal to finish the seventh, Samardzija’s last inning. Ventura had come out to make sure the Sox defended the steal as best they could. The Sox were protecting a 3-2 lead at the time.

“Geo played a heck of a game today, he caught a great game behind the plate and had two huge hits that allowed me to take a breath and get back to work back there,” Samardzija said.

“The defense was very good,” Abreu said. “The offense was good tonight. This is the kind of game we’re expecting every day to have, and I think today was very good for us.”


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