After some early troubles aided by a Conor Gillaspie error, Chris Sale looked like Chris Sale.
The problem was, the White Sox lineup made Trevor May look like like Chris Sale, and they didn't have an unearned run to help them out.
Sale struck out 10 over eight innings, but he gave up two runs in both the second and third innings. The Sox answered both times, but they didn't show the initiative to score unprompted. They haven't scored more than three runs in a game on this homestand, which is now guaranteed to be a losing one.
The Twins defense did set up a potential letdown for Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. With two outs, Alexei Ramirez's pop-up fell behind Brian Dozier in shallow right center due to the no-doubles set. J.B. Shuck then drew a walk (only the second for Perkins all season) to put the winning run on board. Tyler Flowers came to the plate, hooked a first-pitch breaking ball foul, watched a fastball for strike two, and after taking a fastball out of the zone, watched a fastball on the inside corner for strike three.
Playing in front of a capacity crowd, which came to see Paul Konerko's number retired, the Sox fell into their usual habit of falling behind early, as Torii Hunter and Eduardo Nunez hit a pair of solo shots in the second inning. The Sox cut that lead in half by the end of the frame, as Adam LaRoche doubled and later scored on a Ramirez single.
Seeking a shutdown inning, Sale started by getting a nubber off the bat of Danny Santana. Conor Gillaspie charged, barehanded it, and would've retired Santana easily with an on-the-money throw ... but it wasn't on the money. Santana reached, moved to third on Brian Dozier's double, and scored on Shane Robinson's groundout. Dozier then crossed on Trevor Plouffe's single, and the Twins led 4-1.
The White Sox had an answer for that one, too. Carlos Sanchez took a pitch to the hip with one out, and Adam Eaton followed with an RBI triple. Melky Cabrera pushed him home with a groundout, and it was back to a one-run game.
That's where it stayed, thanks to good pitching in advantageous conditions. Steve Stone kept harping on the SHADOWS, but the Sox didn't capitalize on some of May's fatter breaking balls, popping up hangers instead of driving them out of the park. Aaron Hicks denied the Sox a leadoff extra-base hit with a diving catch in the eighth, too.
*Avisail Garcia missed a second straight game with knee inflammation, and it must've been rather severe if he didn't hit for either Shuck or Flowers in the ninth.
*Shuck had a nice day off the bench, going 1-for-3 with a walk, as well as a nifty play. He charged a Hunter blooper to right, and while he couldn't catch it, he barehanded it like a mirror-image third baseman and snapped off a throw to second to get a 9-6 fielder's choice.
*Abreu went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, snapping his 17-game hitting streak.
*Sale struck out Eduardo Escobar on a slider that hit him in the foot.