In what should have been a close game, the Chicago White Sox found a way to lose. Today it ended as an 8-1 trouncing by the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins challenged a leadoff hit-by-pitch to Leury García to start the game. One batter into the game, the Twins lost their only challenge, but it would not become a factor in a seven-run win.
In the same inning, Marwin Gonzalez robbed James McCann of a base hit that would have scored García.
During the bottom of the first, Manny Bañuelos pitched for two quick outs before giving up back-to-back walks to Jonathan Schoop and Eddie Rosario. C.J. Cron proceeded to double them home after Charlie Tilson misjudged a seemingly easy fly ball. However, the error was scored as a hit, and the Twins went up 2-0.
Banuelos walked two in a row and went 3-0 on Cron, who swung and popped it to right. But Tilson couldn't track the ball against the 14 mph wind and it fell for a two-run "double." 2-0 Twins.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 25, 2019
Kyle Gibson did not surrender his first run of the game until the fourth. José Abreu led off the inning by absolutely obliterating a baseball to left center; it landed after 421 feet, and it goes down as Abreu’s 13th home run of the season. The Sox still trailed, 2-1.
Hi! We're looking for a lost baseball.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 25, 2019
It was last seen exploding off José Abreu's bat at 104.9 MPH, any information about where it landed would be a big help. Thanks! pic.twitter.com/WCabNskcun
Unfortunately, the bottom of the fourth inning came, and the Twinkies added some sugar to their score. Schoop started the inning with a walk, and Eddie Rosario hit a ball right between Tilson and Yolmer Sánchez in short right field.
Runners were on second and third with nobody out, so with the Twins being the Twins, Cron added to his RBI total for the game with a single to left field. Instead of throwing to second, Eloy Jiménez tried to cut the runner off at home, but his effort wasn’t close.
So naturally, two outs later, Ehire Adrianza singled home Cron, which should not have happened had Eloy threw the ball to second, to hold Cron at first after his single. However, Tilson made the same mistake on Adrianza’s single. Byron Buxton struck out to end the inning, so at least Tilson’s brain freeze did not haunt the Sox.
Rick Renteria pulled the outfielders aside in the dugout at the inning’s end and gave them a talking to, so hopefully the outfield won’t make those mistakes in the future. They are young, and they are learning. Growing pains are expected.
For the fifth inning, Juan Minaya replaced Manny. Bañuelos threw 80 pitches in his first start off of the injured list. He gave up five hits, five (debatable) earned runs, three walks, and four strikeouts.
Minaya righted the ship, pitching two scoreless innings; he gave up two hits, one walk, and one strikeout.
Minnesota’s Gibson, on the other hand, was magnificent. He went seven innings, sprinkled five hits, struck out nine, and only gave up one run.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Jace Fry came onto the scene. He induced a pop up from Jorge Polanco. The ball drifted from foul to fair territory, and Yonder Alonso could not come up with the ball. It goes as E-3, yet the similar Tilson mishap in the first ended in a double. It’s a strange game.
Kelvin Herrera wanted to get back on track in the bottom of the eighth. However, the Twins had yet to hit a home run, so Adrianza obliged by crushing a three-run shot to right. The Twins went up to 8-1, and Herrera is still suffering ever since his back spasms.
The silver lining of the game is that Seby Zavala, with two outs in the ninth inning, got his feet wet and made his major league debut! He struck out to end the game, but he will get his first career start tomorrow.
Zavala will be catching Sunday— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 25, 2019
In the end, Minnesota’s pitching overpowered the South Siders, and the White Sox had trouble catching and throwing the baseball. As Hawk Harrelson would always say, “The first rule of baseball is to catch the ball.” The White Sox had trouble in that department, and it cost them most when the game was still close.
Tomorrow’s 1:10 CT game will wrap up the series and the road trip. Dylan Covey (0-3, 5.31 ERA) will rival Jake Odorizzi (6-2, 2.38 ERA) on the mound. The game will be shown on NBC Sports Chicago, and it can be heard through WGN-AM radio. I’ll be around to provide your coverage.
Me and the White Sox hope to avoid the sweep and to end the road trip on a positive note.