Yoan Moncada delivered the game-tying hit.
Tim Anderson delivered the game-winning hit.
More of that the next six years, please.
The White Sox pulled off a Ricky’s-boys-don’t-quit game, overcoming an effective Ervin Santana and some Ricky-don’t-quit-bunting self-sabotage to deliver a thrilling comeback winner.
The Twins bunched together singles with a burst of James Shields wildness to take a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth, which was potentially safe with Santana at his economical best. However, Leury Garcia landed a blow by turning on a down-and-in breaking ball for a solo shot to give the Sox a push.
The seventh inning looked more promising when Nicky Delmonico walked and Avisail Garcia took a pitch to the forearm. But, maybe because we hadn’t yelled at him in a while, Renteria had Kevan Smith try bunting three times in a row. Santana made all his pitches down and away, very difficult to bunt but too close to take, and Smith struck out. A flyout and a popout later, Renteria had slashed his own tires.
But the Sox had more left in the tank. Leury Garcia capped off his tremendous game with a double to the left-center gap, then scored the tying run when Moncada ripped a double past a diving Eduardo Escobar into the left-field corner. Paul Molitor had Taylor Rogers intentionally walk Jose Abreu, and the move to the matchup paid off when Delmonico grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Never fear — the Sox had a third rally in them, this one off Trevor Hildenberger. Avi Garcia went with a changeup off the plate to right field for a single, and Smith bunted him to second. This bunt might have irked some, but it’s not the worst call against an inexperienced right-handed hitter facing sweeping breaking balls (laying off the two-strike bunts would help give him some benefit of the doubt).
Anyway, it paid off. After intentionally walking Yolmer Sanchez to regain the advantage on Tim Anderson, Anderson foiled it by bouncing a high sinker through the left side. Nick Capra waved Garcia home, and Eddie Rosario’s throw was well off to the third-base dugout side of home. Garcia scored without a tag for the White Sox winner.
This one started out as a pitchers’ duel between Santana and Shields. Both allowed one run through five innings, and both on one swing. In Shields’ case, it was another Jorge Polanco homer, his fourth through three games of this series, which tied the game in the fourth.
In Santana’s case, it was an Alen Hanson Little League homer. With two outs in the third inning, Hanson shot a ball over first base for the game’s first hit. It hung up along the side wall and allowed Hanson to stretch it into a triple, but he came home when the relay throw bounced away from Escobar and well into left-field foul territory.
Both starters pitched well, allowing only three hits apiece, even if they both led to three runs. Shields only lasted six innings to Santana’s seven, as the Twins got to him first. Joe Mauer first-to-thirded Brian Dozier after a walk with one out, and Polanco kept killing the Sox by singling Dozier home. A Rosario groundout to first advanced both runners, and so did a Shields wild pitch that maybe Smith should have caught, although it was severely yanked.
That pitch added a run to his line, but the still-sidearming Shields still came away with a quality start. And thanks to quality relief work from Aaron Bummer, Gregory Infante and Farquhar, who only allowed one walk between them over three scoreless innings, the Sox eventually took Shields off the hook.
*Along with the homer, double and two runs scored, Leury Garcia also made an excellent diving/sliding catch in center to pick an Escobar flare off the turf.
*Moncada committed his fourth error of the year when a knuckling liner ate him up on a short hop, but he atoned for it with the double.
Record: 49-76 | Box score