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USA TODAY Sports Minnesota right fielder Oswaldo Arcia is greeted in the dugout after scoring a run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning July 9 at Safeco Field in Seattle.

MLB: Arcia finally comes through vs. lefties

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CHICAGO — Oswaldo Arcia’s numbers against left-handed pitchers are ugly thus far, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire started him Sunday afternoon anyway.

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The Chicago White Sox started tough left-hander Jose Quintana in the Twins’ 16-3 win to take the three-game series, but Gardenhire said before the game that he still sees Arcia as an everyday player. Arcia didn’t start on Friday against Chicago ace left-hander Chris Sale, but that was a special exception.

Hiding Arcia from all lefties isn’t in the plans.

“You’ve got to hit them,” Gardenhire said. “Young hitter, he’s got to hit them — bottom line. Sale would be mean for me to do it to him, if you’re not swinging good on lefties. Quintana’s no easy chore either, but he’s got to hit them. I want this guy to be an everyday guy.”

Arcia, 23, finished the game 3-for-6 and hit a 452-foot home run in the ninth. He went 1-for-3 against Quintana, which upped his average against lefties from .155 to 164 in 61 at-bats. The 6-foot, 220-pounder is seen as a key piece of the outfield puzzle for the Twins going forward, which is why Gardenhire wants him to figure out the issue against left-handers.

Arcia hit a respectable .254 in 114 at-bats off left-handers as a rookie last season.

“He’s going to have to hit them,” Gardenhire said. “Arcia has got to play. I don’t want him sitting here. If he’s sitting every time they have a lefty out there, that’s not going to help him. He’s got to learn to hit these guys. The only way to do that is face them. I can protect him against some of those guys, but for the most part, he needs to hit lefties.”

Notes, quotes

RECORD: 50-60

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Padres (RHP Jesse Hahn, 7-2, 2.01 ERA) at Twins (RHP Phil Hughes, 10-8, 4.12 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

n RHP Phil Hughes (10-8, 4.12) is scheduled to start for the Twins in a series opener Tuesday at Target Field against the San Diego Padres. Hughes will try to rebound from a loss in his most recent start July 30 at the Kansas City Royals. Hughes will be facing the Padres for the third time in his career, with a 1-1 record, 4.66 ERA and 1.655 WHIP. The last time he’s faced the Padres was May 21 in San Diego, throwing seven scoreless innings.

n RF Oswaldo Arcia got the start in right field for the Twins on Sunday in the finale of the series against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. That’s noteworthy because Arcia, a left-handed hitter, carried a .155 batting average against left-handed pitchers into the game and Chicago started tough LHP Jose Quintana. Arcia went 3-for-6 with a long homer and 1-for-3 against Quintana in the Twins’ 16-3 win. “He’s going to have to hit them,” Gardenhire said. “Arcia has got to play. I don’t want him sitting here. If he’s sitting every time they have a lefty out there, that’s not going to help him.”

n RHP Kyle Gibson took the mound for the Twins on Sunday in the series finale against the Chicago White Sox looking for more consistency. Gibson had alternated good starts and bad starts in his previous six outings, including seven scoreless innings July 29 to beat the Kansas City Royals in his most recent start before facing Chicago. Gibson went seven innings and allowed three runs to earn his 10th win in Minnesota’s 16-3 victory against the White Sox. “The last outing and this outing, I’ve just done a better job of throwing all my pitches more,” Gibson said. “I looked at the numbers over the 10 days I had back stiffness and I was just throwing too many fastballs in hitters’ counts.”

n 3B Trevor Plouffe was struggling at the plate prior to the Twins’ series against the Chicago White Sox that concluded Sunday with a 16-3 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. Against the White Sox, Plouffe found his hitting stroke in what’s considered a great hitter’s ballpark. He combined to go 7-for-10 with two doubles and two RBIs in the first two games before going 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday. “The ballpark here, the ball flies,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Guys like hitting here. You see the ball well. Just get the pitches and don’t miss them. You see Trevor kind of scuffling along against Kansas City, he comes here and he’s on everything.”

n LHP Logan Darnell was optioned to Triple-A Rochester following the Twins’ 16-3 win on Sunday at the Chicago White Sox. Darnell, who had a rough start on Friday against the White Sox, was sent down to make room for CF Jordan Schafer, whom the Twins claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves. Darnell went 0-1 with an 8.25 ERA in three games (two starts) for the Twins.

n CF Jordan Schafer was claimed off waivers from the Braves. He was hitting .163 in 80 at-bats with Atlanta. LHP Logan Darnell was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Schafer.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Well, we scored some runs here today. Goodness gracious, up to the eighth inning it was a 4-3 ballgame, then the ball starting flying all over the place.” — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, after Minnesota exploded for 12 runs in the final two innings Sunday and finished with 23 hits in a 16-3 rout of Chicago.

Roster report

MEDICAL WATCH:

n RHP Ricky Nolasco (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 7. He threw a bullpen session July 27 and is scheduled to throw three more bullpen sessions before going on a rehab assignment. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Aug. 1 that Nolasco would begin his rehab assignment sometime during the week of Aug. 4-10.

n 1B Joe Mauer (right oblique strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 2. He took dry swings in the cage before the July 20 game, then fielded grounders and threw the ball July 21. He hit off a tee July 22 and July 27. He took indoor batting practice July 30 and will likely begin a rehab assignment sometime during the week of Aug. 4-10.

n RHP Mike Pelfrey (strained left groin, right elbow surgery in June 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 2, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 19. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on May 16. He returned from Rochester on May 28 after experiencing elbow soreness. He underwent surgery June 10 to clean up scar tissue in his right elbow that was causing pressure on his ulnar nerve. He began a throwing program in late July. He is expected to be out until at least mid-August.

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