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Twins 4, White Sox 2: Inauspicious start to road trip

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Minnesota's 30-year-old rookie starter holds down fort until offense can crack Jake Petricka

Hannah Foslien

Playing for their trade deadline lives, the White Sox need to seize every advantage on this 11-game road trip in order to prove to the front office that they can contend.

Losing a game where Jose Quintana faced a 30-year-old rookie making his major-league debut? That's the kind of game that pushes the Sox closer to "seller" territory

Quintana held up his end the bargain, limiting the Twins offense to two runs over seven innings. Problem is, Yohan Pino matched Quintana over the same stretch, and when the bullpens got involved, a BABIP'd Jake Petricka blinked fairly quickly. He gave up two singles and a double to Joe Mauer (on a full-count nothing pitch after getting ahead 0-2), and a sac fly added an insurance run the Twins didn't need. Jose Abreu singled to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but neither Adam Dunn nor Alexei Ramirez could extend the game further.

That Abreu single was the only blip for Twins pitching during the second half of the game, as Pino, Casey Fien and Glen Perkins retired 12 of the last 13 White Sox who came to the plate.

During the first half, it looked like the Sox had figured Pino out. Quintana had given up a titanic solo homer to Josh Willingham to fall behind 1-0 after two, but the offense picked him up with a pair in the top of the third. Alejandro De Aza singled and moved to third on a beautiful Adam Eaton hit-and-run two batters later. Gordon Beckham followed with a walk to load the bases, and Conor Gillaspie singled home two with a line drive to center, giving the Sox the lead.

However, Beckham assumed the throw was going somewhere away from second base, because he rounded the bag as the throw came in behind him. By the time he realized he should get back, Brian Dozier slapped the tag on him. Instead of one out and a runner in scoring position, the White Sox had a man on first and two outs. Abreu's strikeout unceremoniously ended a promising inning.

(That out on the basepaths pretty much short-circuited the Sox offense, and it was the kind of play that would've drawn heavy fire from Hawk Harrelson over the rest of the game if it were somebody like De Aza. Because it was Beckham, the play was followed by mere silence.)

Quintana gave the run back when Mauer sliced a two-out single to left in the bottom of the third. He needed 63 pitches to get through three innings, but settled down enough to complete seven innings with a unremarkable pitch count of 108. Alas, he had racked up seven straight decisions, so he was due to come away from this one empty-handed.

Bullet points:

*The start of the game was delayed by two hours and six minutes due to a storm cell that hung around for a while.

*De Aza went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, raising his batting average to .207 .213 and his June average to .405.

*Tyler Flowers went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but his flyout to center would've been a two-run homer in most parks. Then again, by the same measure, Willingham would've had a two-homer game off Quintana.

Record: 35-38 | Box score | Play-by-play | Highlights