White Sox 5, Twins 4: Outfield defense the difference

David Banks

Two Minnesota miscues turn into runs, including the game-winner

Bullet points because the Fox blackout wouldn't let me watch it. Please fill in or add details wherever applicable.

*The White Sox basically won this game because the Twins had problems in their outfield corners. They took a 3-0 lead in the second inning because Chris Colabello just whiffed on Conor Gillaspie's fly to the right center gap. Gordon Beckham was off on contact with two outs and scored from first without a throw.

Or maybe Gillaspie was doctoring his bat, because another one of his liners gave Oswaldo Arcia problems in the sixth inning. With two outs and a runner on third, Gillaspie hit a well-struck liner to left, and Arcia's awkward dive/flop only resulted in a massive divot on Roger Bossard's turf. So two of the five runs scored with two outs on balls better outfielders would've caught, and the Sox won by one.

*Andre Rienzo is still in search of his first win, and this time he didn't deserve one. He struggled with control, walking five batters and plunking another over 5⅓ innings. On top of that, he gave up his first two homers. Both came in the third inning, and a three-run shot by Justin Morneau and a solo shot by Arcia turned a 3-0 White Sox lead into a 4-3 deficit.

*David Purcey did pick up the win after picking up Rienzo. He inherited runners on the corners with one out in the sixth and Joe Mauer at the plate. So of course he struck out Mauer on four pitches, and then made a nice snag on Morneau's comebacker for the final out.

*Nate Jones picked up Purcey, who allowed a one-out double to Arcia in the seventh before departing, with a pair of strikeouts. Then he struck out the first two of the eighth inning before a two-out walk brought Mauer to the plate. Mauer smashed a liner to Alejandro De Aza in the sun field, but De Aza had no problems tracking it for the final out.

*Nor did De Aza have problems tracking down Arcia's deep drive with two outs in the ninth. He made a leaping catch on the warning track to seal the save. It wouldn't have left the yard, but a bad bounce could've turned it into a two-out triple. Addison Reed didn't have to worry about that.

*Avisail Garcia had an uneven first start. He struck out with two on and two out in the first, capping a first inning in which the Sox only got one run from a bases-loaded, one-out situation. But he started the game-winning rally in the sixth inning with a single to center, his first hit in a White Sox uniform. Then he scored his first run by moving to second on a walk, taking third on Josh Phegley's sacrifice bunt, and scoring on Blake Tekotte's sac fly.

*Two pitching staffs known for good control had problems with the strike zone. The Twins walked seven batters, and Sox pitchers issued six bases on balls themselves. Gordon Beckham developed a leadoff hitter's eye by drawing a career-high four walks alone.

*UPDATE: Phegley drew his first walk (h/t socklessmoejohnson). And he started the count 0-2.

*Jordan Danks, playing right field, showed a corner outfielder's skill set at the plate. He hit his second homer of the year and also drew a walk in his three plate appearances.

*Alexei Ramirez hit his 30th double of the year, as he continues to show some pop from the third spot.

Record: 44-71 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights

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