And yet the White Sox still lost.
At least they’re picking creative ways to do it, as the Twins scored their decisive run without a hit. Dan Jennings clipped the shirt of Eddie Rosario during an at-bat where Dioner Navarro gave away his most egregious strike of the season. After a sacrifice bunt, Jennings walked Byron Buxton on five pitches.
Robin Ventura then called for Tommy Kahnle, who threw eight of his nine pitches out of the strike zone for back-to-back walks, with the latter the shrimp. With it, the Sox staff regained the lead in bases-loaded walks with 13.
I’d prefer to treat the pitching of Jennings and Kahnle as more symbolic than inadequate, although they’re not mutually exclusive. After the Sox couldn’t score more than one run for Quintana, Zach Duke, Nate Jones and David Robertson, all of whom were effective, what did it matter? Just turn the page for the next game and hope for a shutout.
That’s what it takes to win a game for the White Sox right now. They scored one run for the third consecutive game.
Better yet, they scored their only run with the first batter, as Adam Eaton turned on the second pitch of the game and turned it into a 451-foot homer, a personal best. Eaton also contributed two assists — one at home to cut down the trailing runner on Kennys Vargas’ bloop RBI single, the only run scored on Quintana, and the other a laser to third to erase the potential go-ahead run on Matt Albers’ watch in the eighth. He contributed all the highlights from position players tonight.
The Sox effectively played this game with two guys. The lineup contributed just six hits and four hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position over 12 innings. Worse yet, they erased three of their eight baserunners with TOOTBLANs.
Nolasco had his easiest start of the year, needing just 100 pitches to throw eight innings of one-run, three-hit ball. This was a guy the Sox used to be able to hit on a reliable basis. This offense looks like an offense that wants its front office to sell hard.