What looked to be a wild game through two innings turned into a pitchers' duel through nine. When the game turned to extras, that's when the White Sox returned to their power game, which allowed them to close out the evening in a rather comfortable fashion.
Or, to put it another way:
Clutch offensive heroes Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo, backed by a scoreless outing from the bullpen. What.— The Catbird Seat (@TheCatbird_Seat) September 3, 2014
Yes, all that is true at the same time:
*Tyler Flowers hit a pair of two-run homers -- a game-tying shot to left center off Tommy Milone in the second inning, and an insurance blow just inside the right-field foul pole off Lester Oliveros.
*Dayan Viciedo stung Oliveros earlier, starting the 10th by hitting the seventh consecutive fastball he saw over the high wall in right center, putting the Sox ahead 4-3.
*The bullpen made it possible, as Javy Guerra (one out), Eric Surkamp (one inning), Daniel Webb (two outs) and Jake Petricka (one-inning save) put together three innings of hitless, scoreless relief.
This game shouldn't have been so taut, because the first two innings were wild. Keenys Vargas crushed a grooved Hector Noesi fastball into the second deck in right-center to give the Twins a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Sox responded with three off Tommy Milone, and all with two outs. Michael Taylor walked in his first PA as a Sox and scored on Flowers' rocket into the White Sox bullpen. followed by Marcus Semien singling and scoring on a Carlos Sanchez double.
The Twins tied it up in the bottom of the second with three straight one-out hits -- singles by Eduardo Escobar and Jordan Schafer, and a double to left by Danny Santana. But Schafer rounded third too liberally, and a good relay from Taylor to Alexei Ramirez to Semien caught Schafer too far off the bag. Noesi then struck out Brian Dozier to end the inning.
Noesi settled down to throw five scoreless innings afterward, although another baserunning error by Schafer bailed him out to close out the seventh. He hit a weak dribbler against the shift, and Semien had to range across and throw awkwardly to first. That didn't work, as it was wide of Paul Konerko and to the screen.
However, the ball bounced right back to Konerko as Schafer started toward second. That started what should've been an easy rundown, but Konerko bounced the throw. Sanchez scooped it, however, and recovered to continue a 3-2-9-5 putout that ended with Semien slapping the tag on Schafer before Kurt Suzuki could stumble home.
But even though the Sox knocked out Milone in the fourth inning, they couldn't manage to scrape together a fourth run in regulation, either. Taylor and Flowers struck out with two on in the third, Avisail Garcia lined out to center with two on in the fourth, and Flowers and Konerko each killed innings with double plays.
The Sox added an out on the basepaths for good measure in the ninth, as Sanchez was thrown out at second after starting the inning with a single. The way he looked back suggested a hit-and-run might've been called, but that wouldn't have been an idea call with Jordan Danks against Glen Perkins.
That was the only blemish on Sanchez's night, as he went 3-for-4 with his first career walk. His only out was a well-struck lineout to center.
*Surkamp was the star of the bullpen, as he came in to face Joe Mauer with one out and a runner on third in the eighth. Mauer bounced into a double play, part of an 0-for-4 night.
*Daniel Webb almost lost the game when his pickoff throw went into right field, moving the winning run from first to third with two outs in the ninth. Suzuki flied out to right to keep the game going.
*The Sox went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The two homers and Sanchez's double came with a runner on first.
*Adam Eaton was ejected quietly after striking out in the top of the sixth. Danks took his place.
*Along the same lines, Hawk Harrelson said during the broadcast that he was battling a cold. Steve Stone ended up finishing the game.