Will the first place team in the AL Central please step forward.
Not so fast, Chicago White Sox. Try again on Thursday. Please!
Games like this are exactly why the White Sox felt like they had to go out and get an Edwin Jackson. Freddy can not be trusted in a pennant race. His 80 mph junk just isnt getting it done, despite his grit and
determination perspiration. Games like this are also the reason we pined for another bat. A waiver claim tomorrow can't be blocked by the Twins. So we've got that going for us.
Everything went right for the Twins in this one. Three sharply hit balls to lead the game off. A nice stab by Paul Konerko turned one of them into an out and helped limit the damage in the 1st to one run. In the second Jim the outcast Thome took the first pitch to the opposite field for a home run. JJ Hardy and Joe Mauer (9 HR between them all season coming into the game) each reached the seats as well, it was 5 zilch after 1 and a half.
For the Sox things were ugly. Losin' ugly. The top third of the batting order managed to reach base three times between them for the whole game, and ran into outs on two of those occassions. Alex Rios was caught stealing in the first. Juan Pierre picked off in the third. On base machine Omar Vizquel went 0 for 4. Carlos Quentin provided one of the only highlights with a three run bomb in the bottom of the second. It didn't make me forget Brent Lillibridge couldn't make a play in the top of the inning and Alexei Ramirez didnt cover second base when they had the shift on for Jim Thome, giving him a free bag. Freddy Garcia only made it through 2 1/3 innings and surrendered 6 earned runs. Pena inherited one of them that he let score, and allowed two more on his own dime in the 4th inning. The Sox went down in order in the bottom of the 4th inning. Then Tony Pena gave up another 2 run blast to Michael Cuddyer in the top of the 6th inning making it a 10-3 ball game.
Rios doubled with one out in the bottom of the 6th, and Konerko followed it with a RBI base hit off the wall advancing on the play because the Twins were too busy giggling about how quiet the Cell was. Base hit for Mark Kotsay. 1st and third. Che with a sac fly. At this point I want at least one more DSNB this inning but no, the inning ends with the score 10-5. At least the Sox meat of the order did a little damage in the 6th forcing the Twins bullpen into the game for some garbage time.
Scott Linebrink. With a 1-2-3 7th inning. I'm not joking. 2 strikeouts even.
Then he gave up a 2 run homer to Kubel in the top of 8.
Matt Guerrier pitched the 7th and 8th innings for Minnesota. He sat down every batter he faced.
Bobby Jenks came in for the 9th inning. He retired Thome, but gave up a base hit to Valencia which gave the entire Twins team a hit on the night. JJ Hardy reached on a slow ground ball to second base somehow. This game is infuriating sometimes. I would've preferred Bobby just plunk him with the heater. Its been that kind of night. He retired the side without incident. The Sox got one back in the 9th and that was it. With reserves Lillibridge and Castro forced into service they are turning back into pumpkins as opposed to the world beaters their small sample sized numbers reflect.
Jason Kubel was 2 for 2 with a HR, a base hit and 3 walks. He scored 4 runs and knocked in 2.
Final score: Twins 12 - White Sox 6
Dont Stop Now Boys: 3