MINNEAPOLIS — James Shields didn’t feel quite right warming up before the game. Then his back tightened on him after yet another early exit.
It has been a rough season for the Shields, both before and after joining the Chicago White Sox.
Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe each homered during an eight-run third inning and the Minnesota Twins went deep four times in an 11-3 victory over Shields and the White Sox on Saturday night.
Brian Dozier led off with his 34th homer, setting the tone for another tough start.
“It’s frustrating,” said Shields (5-17), who matched Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer for the most losses in the majors.
Byron Buxton tacked on a two-run shot in the second inning, and then came the third. Shields was checked by a team athletic trainer following a leadoff walk to Plouffe. Sano followed with a one-out drive into the third deck above left field, and after another walk manager Robin Ventura came out to pull Shields.
“That third inning and the warm-ups, it just kind of grabbed on me a little bit,” Shields said.
The back was not the reason the right-hander was removed.
“At that point, he was coming out anyway,” Ventura said.
Shields said he wasn’t worried about his health.
“We all get sore every once in a while,” he said.
Shields was charged with five runs after giving up four walks and five hits. The White Sox needed two more pitchers to finish the inning, capped by a three-run shot by Plouffe. All six runs against reliever Jacob Turner were unearned, thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Todd Frazier.
Shields, shipped east by the San Diego Padres in early June, is 3-10 in 17 starts for the White Sox. Shields has a 7.50 ERA with his new club, averaging exactly five innings per turn. He has allowed a career-most 35 home runs this season.
Max Kepler had two doubles among his three hits, Dozier stole two bases and Buxton went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles to go with his soaring home run.
Hector Santiago (11-8) cruised to his first victory in six starts since the Twins acquired him in late July from the Los Angeles Angels. Santiago finished six innings with three runs allowed and six strikeouts.
Santiago was coming off his best performance with Minnesota — 6 1/3 scoreless innings at Cleveland. The left-hander cruised through this one after allowing a leadoff home run to Adam Eaton. Santiago for gave up four hits and three walks, boosted by an 11-2 lead he took into the fourth.
The White Sox, who have lost four of their last six games against the league-worst Twins, fell to 21-34 against the division this season.
Buxton is 6 for 10 with five runs, five RBIs and two homers without a strikeout in three games since his latest call-up from Triple-A.
Eaton has eight career leadoff home runs, including four this year. He’s batting .371 at Target Field this season, with 13 hits in 35 at-bats over nine games.
White Sox rookie SS Tim Anderson returned to the lineup after a day off for a bruised right calf muscle. Anderson has a hit in eight of his last nine games, going 12 for 37 during that stretch for a .324 batting average.
The White Sox will send RHP Anthony Ranaudo (1-1, 8.76 ERA) to the mound on Sunday for the finale of the four-game series, with LHP Andrew Albers (0-0, 6.97 ERA) set to take the mound for the Twins. Ranaudo will make his fifth start.