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Twins’ Alex Kirilloff hits two home runs in win over White Sox

The outfielder hit a pair of home runs in the Twins’ 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, two of five home runs for the team on the night.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins left fielder Alex Kirilloff hits a two run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
David Banks / USA Today Sports
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CHICAGO — Finally, one surgery and a couple of cortisone shots in his right wrist later, the Twins are seeing what a healthy Alex Kirilloff can do. It’s safe to say they’ve liked what they’ve been seeing lately.

The outfielder hit a pair of home runs in the Twins’ 8-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, two of five home runs for the team on the night.

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Kirilloff put on the kind of show that the Twins had envisioned he could. His three-hit day — he also singled in the fourth inning — was his third game with as many hits in his past nine games.

His first home run came right after Jorge Polanco, celebrating his 29th birthday, smacked a home run of his own off of White Sox starter Michael Kopech. Kirilloff took the second pitch of his at-bat and deposited it into the stands in left-center field.

The pitch he hit for his second home run, a changeup off the edge of the plate in the seventh inning, he poked out to a similar area of the park.

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“He’s a guy that hits the ball to all fields. He’s a guy that can get to pitches up in the zone and down in the zone when he physically is able to do that. And he couldn’t do that,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before the game. “In addition, he probably couldn’t even swing very hard before. So he was limited in what he could get to, and he was limited in really the strength, the actual strength, in his hand and in his wrist. We’re in a better spot now than we were before.”

The Twins got to that better spot with Kirilloff after an April cortisone shot, a rehab assignment, a brief stint in the majors and then a month spent in Triple-A, where he mashed minor league pitching. Kirilloff returned on June 17 with confidence, Baldelli, said, from being able to go back to Triple-A and have the success that he’s used to having.

“And now we’re seeing it at this level,” Baldelli said.

In addition to Kirilloff and Polanco, Max Kepler also hit a third-inning solo shot, and Jose Miranda hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, giving the Twins a three-run lead.

Starting pitcher Josh Winder, who was called up to start in place of Chris Archer, whom the Twins placed on the injured list on Tuesday, gave up two runs in his five innings and picked up the win.

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