Avisail Garcia didn't get to Chicago from Charlotte in time for the start of the game, but he wasted no time getting a crash course in how this season is supposed to go.
He witnessed a punchless loss in extra innings, with the Sox's fate sealed by a Dylan Axelrod gopher ball. Axelrod has given up four over his last five outings spanning 6⅓ innings, and picked up three losses along the way.
And when Garcia got in the game, he got with the program. He entered the game as a pinch hitter with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, and ... he struck out on three pitches. He got another chance in the 10th, and that was even more painful, because Glen Perkins drilled him above the elbow pad. He did get to third base on a sac bunt and flyout to center, but Alexei Ramirez couldn't get him home, as his flyout to right ended the game.
That's only a lighthearted poke at Garcia, who came to the park straight from the plate and had little in the way of a warmup before facing 90something left-handed heat. It's just remarkable how the events of this season find ways to consume its participants as quickly as possible.
Charlie Leesman, the other White Sox making his debut, was relegated to bystander status after five effective-enough innings. He nibbled himself into a high pitch count crossing the 100-pitch mark before finishing the fifth, and his line reflects that. He allowed four hits and five walks over his five innings while striking out eight ... but only one run crossed the plate, and that was when Chris Herrmann swatted a get-me-over 3-2 breaking ball over the right-field wall in the top of the fourth.
Ramirez got Leesman off the hook in the bottom of the inning, hitting a solo shot to left off Liam Hendriks to tie the game at 1. Ramirez entered the day with one homer, so it's pretty unlikely that he would become the first White Sox player since Magglio Ordonez in 1999 to hit one in both ends of a doubleheader.
Following up on the theme of "That Guy Homered?" Blake Tekotte joined the fun with his first career shot, which came on a hanging Hendriks changeup. He crushed it inside the right-field foul pole to give the Sox a 2-1 lead.
Then it was the Twins' turn to answer, as Matt Lindstrom allowed his first homer in a White Sox uniform when Josh Willingham took him deep the other way in the eighth inning, tying the game. That set up a very likely occurrence in the 10th, as Oswaldo Arcia contributed to Axelrod's homer problems with a no-doubter to center. The Sox didn't have a response.
- Along with the home run, Arcia had a strong day in left field, making a couple of somewhat difficult catches by the wall.
- Viciedo was late on Hendriks' 91-mph heat, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
- Ramirez's homer was a solo shot because Alejandro De Aza was caught stealing right before. It wasn't a bad jump; Herrmann just made a great throw. Those are the kinds of breaks the Sox will need if they want that first overall pick.