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Sale's strong start stymies Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago left-hander Chris Sale pitched eight shutout innings Saturday night and the White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-0.

Sale gave up five hits and struck out 12 while walking two. Two of the five hits he allowed never left the infield, and all five were singles. The Twins reached second base only once against Sale all night.

White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez and catcher Tyler Flowers had two hits and two RBIs apiece.

Twins left-hander Logan Darnell, making his first major league start, was roughed up in his Target Field debut, allowing seven earned runs and 11 hits in five-plus innings.

Chicago took the lead in the top of the second inning, getting back-to-back hits with two outs from third baseman Conor Gillaspie and Flowers to take a 1-0 lead. Gillaspie doubled to right field ahead of Flowers, who singled up the middle for his sixth RBI in the past eight games.

Singles by center fielder Adam Eaton and Ramirez with one out in the third inning put runners on the corners for first baseman Jose Abreu, who hit a fly ball deep enough to score Eaton from third.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, his second home run in as many days and 10th of the season, to give the White Sox a 4-0 lead.