Jose Quintana finally deserved to lose a game. Even still, the lack of support was frustrating.
The Twins tagged Quintana for five runs in the second inning, coming up with a steady stream of base hits around a massive blast from the recently recalled Byron Buxton. The Sox trailed 5-1 after two, and could never quite climb back in it. Their losing streak stretched to four games in the process, while the Twins finally halted their skid at 13(!).
The White Sox had their chances. Man, did they have their chances. Like, two-runs-on-10-hits chances. Like 10-stranded-through-five chances.
They scored more runs tonight than they did in any game against Detroit, and in more exciting ways. Todd Frazier opened the scoring in the second with his 33rd homer, and Jose Abreu reached 20 homers with a crushed two-run shot off the facade in right center, but the story of this game was how they failed to add on, especially early against Ervin Santana.
First inning: No runs on three singles, because one of those singles struck Tim Anderson in the leg for the second out. Anderson left the game with a bruised calf. (Two stranded.)
Second inning: Tyler Saladino and Adam Eaton singled, with good baserunning by Eaton putting runners on second and third with two outs. Alas, Anderson grounded out to second. (Two stranded.)
Third inning: Justin Morneau followed Abreu’s single by first-to-thirding him, but Frazier struck out, after which Alex Avila grounded out following an Avisail Garcia walk. (Three stranded.)
Fourth inning: Back-to-back doubles by Carlos Sanchez and Melky Cabrera cut Minnesota’s lead to 5-2, but Abreu struck out, (One stranded.)
Fifth inning: Morneau and Frazier opened the inning with a single and a walk, but strikeouts by Garcia and Avila stalled the rally, and Saladino grounded out. (Two stranded.)
After that, Trevor Plouffe took Quintana deep for a two-run shot, giving the Twins a 7-2 lead. They had seven hits and zero stranded. The Sox had 10 hits and 10 stranded.
The Sox had their last best chance in the eighth, when Sanchez drove in Eaton with a double to make it an 8-5 game with nobody out. Sanchez moved to third on Cabrera’s groundout, but Abreu tapped back to Ryan Pressly on the third pitch of a horrible at-bat, and Morneau struck out swinging.
At least Kevan Smith got in the game. He and fellow September call-up Juan Minaya made their MLB debuts in the ninth and teamed up for a scoreless inning, as Smith gunned down Jorge Polanco at second on the back end of a SHOTHO for the third out. Smith also came to the plate for the first time in the ninth and lined out hard to center. After missing out on his first chance to make an MLB debut due to his back locking up, it's nice to see at least one rookie avenge his injury.
*Quintana’s ERA floated to 3.05 after a rather bizarre line: 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 2 HR.
*Sanchez had a nice game in place of Anderson, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, one run and one RBI.
*The Sox finished 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and 13 stranded, while Minnesota was 4-for-8 with just two left on base.