Jake Peavy pitching when he shouldn't. Alex Rios making bad decisions. Adam Dunn going hitless. An unheralded pitcher having an easy day for himself.
Ladies and gentlemen, your first-half Chicago White Sox!
Peavy, who said his arm isn't as fresh as he'd like, certainly looked off. His velocity was down and he couldn't hit the mitt -- and as a result, two Rochester Red Wings were able to put him on the ropes in the fourth. After a pair of walks to Rene Tosoni and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the .180-hitting Drew Butera was able to line an OK slider to center for the game's first run.
One batter later, Jason Repko smashed a hanging, center-cut changeup past Mark Teahen into the corner. That gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead after four, and Peavy didn't survive the fifth. He gave up two singles, a sac fly, and two more singles before Ozzie Guillen pulled the pug after the 90th pitch. Will Ohman ended up getting a 4-3-6 double play when Paul Konerko caught Tosoni straying off second, but that put a fifth run on the board for the Twins.
That would be enough for Anthony Swarzak, who threw a lot of first-pitch curves for strikes and took advantage of Larry Vanover's wide zone the way Peavy couldn't. Juan Pierre led off with a single, and the Sox didn't collect their second hit until Rios' one-out single in the fifth.
The Sox did figure out how to get to Swarzak in the sixth, as Paul Konerko grounded a single to center to spoil the shutout in the sixth. But after walking Dunn, Swarzak struck out Carlos Quentin to escape with a quality start.
It took Ron Gardenhire using his worst reliever for the Sox to finally string together good at-bats. Rios led off the seventh with a walk, scored on A.J. Pierzynski's double, and Gordon Beckham replaced him at second with a double of his own. That narrowed the Minnesota lead to 5-3, but the Sox never threatened again.
Sergio Santos helped put it out of reach when he threw a wild pitch on a slider in the dirt with a runner on third. The ball bounced straight back to Pierzynski, and if only he could've secured the ball before going to apply the tag, the Sox would've only faced a two-run deficit entering the bottom of the ninth.
*Rios twice missed the cutoff man on ill-advised throws home. The first one didn't make a difference, but the second one may have allowed the fifth run to score, since he scored on that 4-3-6 double play.
*The Sox are now 7-28 against the Twins in their last 35 games.