If you only watched the first inning, you probably would assume the White Sox extended their losing streak to seven games. In the top of the inning, they failed to take advantage of a Tsuyoshi Nishioka error by popping out with the bases loaded and one out. The bottom of the inning started with a routine grounder through the legs of Adam Dunn, leading to three unearned runs and a 3-1 Minnesota lead.
But first impressions can mislead from time to time, and sure enough, the White Sox looked like a professional baseball team -- with one slight exception. Buehrle buckled down and delivered eight highly efficient innings for his ninth win of the season, because Quentin got him a lead by driving in the Sox's first four runs.
He drove in one run with the bases-loaded grounder mishandled by Nishioka in the first. In the third, he narrowed the Minnesota lead to 3-2 with a no-doubter to center off Nick Blackburn, and in the fifth, he tagged Blackburn with a two-run shot to the second deck in left.
That gave the Sox a 4-3 lead, and as is usually the case, they refused to blow the game open. They went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 13 runners overall.
The Sox could've suffered a real nut punch in the sixth inning, when the Sox loaded the bases with one out. The only problem was that Dunn came to the plate. Ron Gardenhire had a lefty ready, and Phil Dumatrait retired Dunn on one pitch. One batter, one pitcher and one pitch later, Alex Burnett got Quentin to fly out to center to end the threat with no runs scored.
But Buehrle was up to the challenge. He allowed two hits (including a Jason Kubel homer) in the first, and then two hits over his last seven innings. He didn't walk anybody, he only threw 94 pitches, and he induced 13 groundouts. Alexei Ramirez and Brent Morel played airtight D to back Buehrle, making up for Dunn's gaffe in the first.
And eventually they did get that insurance run, although they needed the Twins' help. The Sox had the bases loaded for the third time on the evening in the eighth, but they could only add to their lead because Glen Perkins threw a wild pitch. Still, it was enough to change the dynamic of the game, and Chris Sale closed it out in the ninth by pitching around a two-out Kubel double.
*The Sox didn't have to wait long for their first walk of the series, as Paul Konerko drew one in the first inning -- with Dunn batting behind him, of course. The Sox actually walked seven times on the evening, and Quentin was hit by a pitch, too.