Chicago White Sox can’t hold late 3-run lead in 6-5 loss to Minnesota Twins — falling to 3-20

MINNEAPOLIS — In a season filled with losses, the Chicago White Sox suffered one of their toughest Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins.

The Sox saw a late three-run lead slip away, falling 6-5 in front of 11,223 at Target Field.

The Twins scored twice in the eighth and two more times in the ninth, handing the Sox their fifth-straight defeat.

Byron Buxton tied the game with a home run leading off the ninth against Steven Wilson. Alex Kirilloff drove in the game-winning run later in the inning with a two-out single to right.

“Every game when you lose is tough, it doesn’t matter if they win by one or by 10, every loss is tough,” catcher Martín Maldonado said. “Every guy in this clubhouse, they want to go out there and do the best that they can do on a daily basis to win games. When you have the lead like that with two big boys coming in, I think it’s even tougher.”

At 3-20, the Sox are off to their worst 23-game start in franchise history.

“We’ve got to win games, man — bottom line,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “We took a 5-2 lead, we had a full bullpen. We were in a good spot. Just didn’t close it out.”

For most of the night, it appeared the Sox were going to put an end to their latest slide. Eloy Jiménez had two hits, including a three-run home run, and stole the first base of his career, leading to an insurance run.

And starter Erick Fedde was sharp, allowing one run on three hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts in six innings.

Fedde left with a 3-1 lead thanks to the homer by Jiménez in the fourth.

The Sox led 3-2 in the eighth when Jiménez stole second to give the team two runners in scoring position with two outs. Andrew Benintendi drove them in with a single, extending the lead to 5-2.

Trevor Larnach cut it to 5-4 with a two-run home run off Michael Kopech in the bottom of the eighth.

“Kopech doesn’t miss there often,” Maldonado said. “He wants to pitch up in the strike zone and that pitch stayed down and he put a good swing on it.”

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Buxton, who has had big hits against the Sox in the past, tied the game with his home run off the left-field pole leading off the ninth.

“Fastball to Buxton, two in a row, probably not the best idea thinking back to it,” Wilson said. “Probably got to execute there and go with a slider, which is also a good option.”

A walk and a check-swing double by Ryan Jeffers that landed near the left-field line out of Benintendi’s reach gave the Twins runners on second and third with one out.

“I think that catch was a 20% probability catch, we’re playing no-doubles, way back there,” Grifol said. “It hit about a foot away from the line. It would have been a hell of a catch if he made it. I don’t think he should have caught that ball.”

Christian Vázquez struck out, but Kirilloff — who had struck out in his first four at-bats — singled to right to bring home pinch-runner Austin Martin to end the game and continue the misery for the Sox.

“I get a ground ball that gets through,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of how it is. That’s baseball.”

And that’s the way it’s been going for the Sox.