In the opener of this nine-game road trip, John Danks and the White Sox defense made up for lost time. Not to mention the offense ran into 2½ outs on the basepaths.
Basically, this is the kind of game that will result in changes over the next month.
Danks sucked: With Erik Johnson doing all he can in Charlotte to claim a rotation spot, Danks should be out of chances (unless they want to give Carlos Rodon a breather). He gave up nine runs (five earned) on nine hits (including three homers) over 5⅓ innings. He gave up two separate five-run innings, and the second one -- which featured a monster Kennys Vargas three-run homer -- showed him the door in the sixth.
A couple things that might spare him a worse fate? Scott Carroll and Junior Guerra wasn't much better, and also ...
The defense sucked: Alexei Ramirez helped open the floodgates to the first five-run inning. After Joe Mauer tied the game at 2 with a solo shot and Torii Hunter walked, Danks appeared to get back on track by getting a routine grounder to short off the bat off Trevor Plouffe. Ramirez went down to one knee to start a potential 6-4-3 double play, but his flip to second sailed high and wide into right field.
Ramirez then helped Melky Cabrera get charged with an error immediately afterward. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Cabrera caught Eddie Rosario's medium-range fly. Hunter decided not to test Cabrera's strong arm after a fake, and Cabrera tried to catch Hunter off third with his throw. It was on target -- very much on target, as Ramirez proved by letting the ball nail Hunter in the chest because Ramirez inexplicably spun out of the way. Hunter was in too much pain to score, but Cabrera got an error because Plouffe took second.
(That said, I kinda laughed. Hunter delivered a forearm to Carlos Sanchez's midsection after popping up to advance on the error and smiled his way into third base. Also, Jamie Burke.)
A sac fly made it a 3-2 game with two outs, but an RBI single by Kennys Vargas and a two-run second-deck shot by Eduardo Nunez tacked on three more unearned runs to put the game out of reach.
Carroll tacked on a third errror in the sixth inning by weakly tossing a 1-3 attempt into foul territory down the right field line.
The offense sucked: It started encouragingly enough, with Adam LaRoche delivering a two-out single with the bases loaded in the third inning to give the Sox a 2-1 lead off minor nemesis Tommy Milone. Then Melky Cabrera was thrown out at home by Byron Buxton on Ramirez's subsequent single, and it was all downhill from there.
Gordon Beckham was caught easily trying to sneak into second on a bloop single in the fourth inning, and Geovany Soto was caught in a rundown between second and third to ed it.
In classic 2015 White Sox fashion, the Sox only scored two out of their 16 baserunners (11 hits, four walks, one HBP). They went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position, but Cabrera's inability to score from second made one of those hits fruitless. The Sox also managed just two extra-base hits (both doubles), while the Twins doubled that total in homers alone. Throw in a couple double plays, and that about completes the set.
The Twins scored five runs in two separate innings tonight. The White Sox haven't scored five runs in one day for 10 straight games.