The face of White Sox baseball tonight.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Gordon Beckham jumped on a 1-0 pitch and sent it over the left-center wall to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Allowing homers is something P.J. Walters does -- Beckham's was the 17th allowed by Walters over 64 1/3 major-league innings at that point.
In the top of the second, Gavin Floyd couldn't get his breaking ball over the plate, and his fastball found too much of it. Paul Konerko, making his first start at first since getting hit in the face, couldn't come up with two playable balls hit to his left. He also couldn't cut off a short-and-off throw from Alejandro De Aza, which allowed Jamey Carroll to turn an RBI single into an unofficial two-bagger. That base turned out to be big, because he came around to score on Denard Span's single, giving the Twins a 4-1 lead.
With one out in the fourth, Floyd caused more problems for himself when he plunked Carroll with a 1-2 pitch. Alex Rios seemed to under-read the carry of Span's line drive to right, and the ball glanced off the end of his glove, putting runners on second and third. Floyd got Ben Revere to ground out to short to freeze the runners, but the Twins had still had an extra out, and they took advantage of it. After loading the bases with a Joe Mauer intentional walk, Josh Willingham laced a single through the left side, and Justin Morneau turned on a hanging changeup to give the Twins a 9-1 lead.
Caving in against Minnesota is something Floyd and the White Sox do. Floyd is now 0-8 with an 8.85 ERA over his last eight starts against the Twins, making him the first White Sox pitcher to lose eight in a row to one team since Tommy Thomas against the Yankees from 1926 to 1928. There's some dignity in losing eight straight to the 1927 Yankees ... not so much with the 2012 Twins.
And speaking of those Twins, they continued their string of strong play at U.S. Cellular Field. They're now 18-5 in Chicago over their last 23 games. The White Sox dropped to 7-13 at home this season.
The game should have ended after the top of the fourth, really. Zach Stewart came in and shut down the Twins like he always seems to do, throwing 3 2/3 scoreless innings to make the game end faster. Walters, though, threw a five-hitter on 110 pitches. He thwarted early threats with three double plays, and the White Sox put up less and less of a fight as the game went on. In the eighth, he struck out the side on 10 pitches.
The Sox did scratch one more run off Walters in the ninth, which was kinda neat. Orlando Hudson singled in his first plate appearance as a White Sox, moved to third on a ground-rule double by Brent Lillibridge, and scored on Paul Konerko's slo-motion roller to right. But they couldn't prevent Walters from notching his first career complete game, and the Twins' first of the season.
- Beckham was the only one who can be happy with the way he played. He only had the homer, but he hit two line drive outs to left.
- Hudson made his debut at third in the eighth inning, and handled the only grounder that came his way. His throw was high, but Paul Konerko was able to stretch, and retouch the bag in time. He also singled in his first at-bat in the ninth.