Back-to-back walks by Minnesota Twins reliever Fernando Abad set the stage for J.B. Shuck. His flare to left field was just far enough to avoid shortstop Eduardo Escobar, allowing Avisail Garcia to score the game-winning run from second base. White Sox closer David Robertson had the good curveball working for him today by striking out the side for his 21st save to secure the 6-5 victory and pushing the Sox above .500 on the season.
Tommy Milone started for the Twins and that harkens bad memories for White Sox fans recalling the 2015 home opener. However, his last start against the South Siders was September 12, 2015, which he lasted only 3.2 IP in an 8-2 loss. That trend continued today as the White Sox pounded nine hits off Milone, including Todd Frazier's 23rd home run, to give them an early 5-2 lead.
Sox starter Carlos Rodon had a great start to the game, pitching three perfect innings, but the wheels came off in the sixth inning. Byron Buxton lead off with his 10th double of the season and he would score in the next at-bat Eduardo Nunez singled to right. Rodon walked Robbie Grossman to put runners on first and second for Brian Dozier, who continued his terrific series driving in Nunez with a single to left. That ended Rodon's day as he pitched 5.2 IP 4 H 4 ER 1 BB 6 K. Matt Albers entered and was able to escape the jam to preserve the 5-4 lead.
In the seventh, Minnesota tied it as Nunez again came up big with an RBI single to tie it 5-5, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double ending the inning. A day after watching the bullpen struggle closing out an eight-run lead, it appeared once again the Sox would have difficulty holding on to this game despite a comfortable lead.
Luckily, J.B. Shuck was able to provide the heroic hit saving the day and possible embarrassment of a losing series to the Twins. For the first time in his career, Shuck recorded three hits in a game and has seen his batting average rise the past five games from .189 to .239. While he was providing production from the bottom of the order, rookie Tim Anderson continues his tear, recording another multi-hit game with three hits and also walking for the first time in his major league career. His batting average is now .314 with an OPS of .834.
Today also marked the debut of Matt Davidson. Striking out in his first at-bat, Davidson was able to showcase his hitting prowess with an RBI single in the fourth inning for his first run driven in wearing a Sox uniform. He would score his first run on Adam Eaton's bases loaded hit by pitch, but then mysteriously was lifted for Jason Coats in the sixth inning.
Now we know why.
Matt Davidson has a fracture in his right foot.— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) June 30, 2016
Two plate appearances for Davidson and more than likely will now land on the disabled list.