Twins hand White Sox fifth loss in six games

After a strong six innings, Jose Urena allowed four runs in the seventh in the Sox’ 10-2 loss. The Sox fell to 56-91.

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White Sox starter Jose Urena faces the Twins in Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (AP)

White Sox starting pitcher Jose Urena throws against the Twins during the first inning of a game in Chicago, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. (AP)

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First baseman Andrew Vaughn hit his career-high 20th home run, a two-run shot against Kenta Maeda, and hiked his RBI total to 75. He was batting .321/.333/.556 in his previous 14 games.

“It’s pretty cool to get to that benchmark,” Vaughn said. “But that’s all it’s going to be. You have to keep going.”

It hasn’t been easy to keep going. Not when the team is 56-91, which the White Sox fell to with a 10-2 loss to the Twins on Thursday. They have lost five of six.

“Losing stinks,” Vaughn said. “You look over there, and everybody is happy. If you’re not winning more than you’re losing, it’s not a good feeling.”

Vaughn has played in 137 games, the most in his three-year career.

“He’s getting in that gym, and he’s working really hard to finish this season strong,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “I like what he’s done, and I like that he hasn’t tapped into his full potential yet, and he’s having a pretty good year. There’s a lot more in the tank. He’s going to turn out to be a pretty damn good player for us for a long time.”

Urena: Strong start, rough finish

Right-hander Jose Urena has had a tough season, bouncing around with two organizations before landing with the pitching-desperate Sox last month.

Given a chance to make major-league starts again, the 32-year-old Dominican was sharp for most of two with the Sox, pitching four innings of one-run ball against the Tigers last Saturday in Detroit, then holding the American League Central-leading Twins to two runs while striking out eight through six innings.

And then the Twins zinged him for four runs on Matt Wallner’s two-run single and Kyle Farmer’s two-run homer in the seventh, the third long ball of the night for the team that’s third in the AL in homers.

Urena made the Rockies’ Opening Day roster, but after going 0-4 with a 9.82 ERA, he was released April 27. He made 15 uneventful Triple-A starts for the Nationals, who released him Aug. 3 after he posted a 6.31 ERA.

The Sox signed him to a minor-league deal four days later and plugged him into the rotation in the spot that had been held by Michael Kopech.

Urena featured a diving changeup, got 16 swings and misses and did not walk a batter. He retired the first nine batters before Edouard Julien led off the fourth with a home run.

He took a career 4.90 ERA in 195 games (139 starts) with four teams into the game.

This and that

The Twins series is the the Sox’ last one against a division opponent. The Sox are 3-10 against the AL Central in their last 13 games, 22-27 overall.

Luis Robert Jr. (1,151⅔) and Andrew Benintendi (1,145⅔) are sixth and seventh in innings played among AL outfielders.

† The Twins struck out 12 times, raising their total to 1,511 to easily stay on pace for the 2021 Cubs record of 1,596.

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