In the top of the third inning, it looked like Ervin Santana was going to unravel. After surrendering a pair of one-out doubles, he gave up a pair of two-out homers. After the back-to-back shots by Avisail Garcia and Matt Davidson gave the White Sox a 4-2 lead, Santana bobbled Tim Anderson’s dribbler back to the mound multiple times for an error.
Alas, Derek Holland definitely unraveled in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Holland allowed a walk, single, single and a monster 483-foot three-run shot by Kennys Vargas that gave the Twins a 6-4 lead. Not only did Holland give back the lead, but he gave up another run and couldn’t even get out of the third. The Twins eventually led 7-4, and the Sox could never quite tie it back up despite a bevy of baserunners.
The White Sox outhit the Twins 16-2 and drew four walks, but they stranded 14 baserunners with a 4-for-20 performance with runners in scoring position. After Yolmer Sanchez tripled home a pair of runs with two outs in the fifth, they couldn’t find another big hit with runners on. Jose Abreu’s opposite-field shot only counted for one, and that was right after Chris Beck gave up a run in the preceding inning, meaning the homer only made it an 8-7 game.
They had multiple cracks with a runner on second or better in the seventh and eighth, but went 0-for-4. Avisail Garcia then kicked a low line drive for a two-base error that came around to score on Tommy Kahnle’s watch, as if to punish the Sox for all their squandered opportunities.
Then again, the Sox did score seven runs in a game started by Minnesota’s No. 1 starter. Every starter had a hit save Adam Engel, who at least contributed a diving catch and good bunt to the cause. Garcia’s error aside, they also played strong defense, with Sanchez making a couple of great plays, the latter an incredible turn across the bag with the runner bearing down on him.
Point your fingers at the pitching. Holland finished with a game score of 6 after giving up seven runs on nine hits (two homers) over 2 2⁄3 innings. That’s three poins worse than his month’s previous low game score of nine, even though he recorded one more out this time around.