CHICAGO - The Twins are scheduled to play the White Sox 19 more times in 2017. Hector Santiago should plan on starting about, oh, 12 of them.
The veteran lefthander, a member of the White Sox himself for a couple of seasons at the start of his career, wrapped up his first (two-month) season as a Twin on a note of brilliance Saturday, limiting Chicago to just three singles over 6 1/3 shutout innings. With rookies Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton providing offense via a pair of two-run homers, the Twins coasted to a 6-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
Santiago’s superb night — he walked three and struck out six — was his fourth of the season against the team that drafted him. The 28-year-old lefthander improved to 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA four starts against the White Sox this season, two of them for the Twins and two for the Angels, who sent him to Minnesota at the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
Meanwhile, Brian Dozier’s quest to become the first Twin in a decade, and seventh in history, to score 100 runs and drive in 100 may have ended in disappointment. The second baseman, who scored his 104th run but has remained stuck on 99 RBIs since Sept. 22, left the game after striking out in the seventh inning with a soreness in his right quad. He’s unlikely to play in Sunday’s season finale.
Polanco drove Dozier in with a home run into the right-field porch in the fourth inning, and Buxton clubbed his ninth of the season into the left-field bleachers in the fifth. That gives the Twins 198 home runs on the season, with a chance to reach 200 for the first time since 1964 on Sunday.