At the end of a five-game series with the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox looked ready for more. After evening the series with a dramatic comeback on Wednesday, the Sox won the thing by outclassing their opponents for the evening, playing errorless ball and taking advantage of mistakes on the other side. As a result, the Twins dropped into a tie with the Angels for the second wild card spot.
A series of Minnesota miscues in the fourth allowed the Sox to take control, with Yoan Moncada playing a central role. He walked to lead off the inning, stole his first career base with one out, then scored all the way from second on a ground ball that never left the infield. Nicky Delmonico hit a grounder to Mitch Garver, who looked like a catcher playing first base and stumbled while trying to range to his right. The ball caromed away from him and toward a vacant second base hole, and Moncada scrambled home to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Sox kept applying pressure to Berrios. Kevan Smith shot a single up the middle, Yolmer Sanchez dumped a bloop single over the head of Brian Dozier to load the bases, and Tim Anderson’s grounder required Ehire Adrianza to dive, ruling out a double play. Capping it off, Berrios tried to pick off Smith at third base and fired wildly, allowing Smith to score.
The Sox led 4-0, and Derek Holland kept it that way until Byron Buxton hit a solo blast to left. Unlike other Holland outings, that didn’t foreshadow a collapse. He walked Eduardo Escobar, sure, but then he got Garver to ground into an easy 6-4-3 double play to clear the bases, and Holland got Eddie Rosario to pop out to lock in a quality start.
In what’s typical for even a strong Holland outing, he issued his fair share of walks, dealing four over his six innings. But he struck out five, and the three hits he allowed came with nobody on base. The Twins were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on his watch, and finished 0-for-10 as Juan Minaya got a flyout, strikeout and groundout after allowing the first two to reach in the ninth.
The Sox never trailed, and they were only tied for an inning. Yolmer Sanchez gave the Sox a 1-0 lead with a solo shot, and when the Twins got on the board in the top of the sixth, a Smith double chased home Delmonico in the bottom of the inning to restore the four-run cushion.
(The Sox had an opportunity to add one more, but both Sanchez and Anderson grounded out on 3-0 pitches.)
This win would have been more satisfying had the Sox not lost the services of Moncada and Leury Garcia. Moncada left the game iin the sixth a couple innings after scoring on that error. He reaggravated his shin splits busting it home, although it was a testament to his speed that he scored easily despite a stumble around third base. Tyler Saladino replaced him.
Two innings earlier, Garcia exited after tweaking his back on a swing, with Alen Hanson taking his place. Both catchers were already in the lineup, and with Avisail Garcia way for the birth of his son, Rick Renteria had to play the second half of the game with no bench. No more reserve players were needed.
Record: 50-76 | Box score