The Chicago White Sox made it 39-42 for the first half of the season, and 7-8 in a long stretch against winning teams, with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Twinkies this afternoon. And that’s overcoming the fact a nearly three-hour rain delay meant starter Lucas Giolito had to leave the game after five innings of one-hit, 4 K, shutout ball ... all on just 68 pitches, 13 of those in one appearance by Marwin González.
Giolito left the bullpen a 2-0 lead, thanks to this 403-foot shot to center by Yoán Moncada:
That 101 mph blast was pretty much it for the Sox offense against lefty Australian Lewis Thorpe, making his first start in the bigs. Thorpe, also pulled at the storm delay, gave up four other hits and no other runs and, the Sox being the Sox, striking out seven (10 Ks on the day for Twins pitchers) and somehow getting two batters to accept walks.
He did get some help from an amazing grab by Byron Buxton against José Rondón in the fourth.
Well, amazing if done by anyone but Buxton.
Buxton gave the Sox a break in the post-delay sixth. He doubled to left off Evan Marshall, but got greedy when Eloy Jiménez’s throw to third got away.
The putout at third survived a challenge, with Marshall’s excellent job backing up third leading to your basic 7-1-5 double play.
Jiménez wasn’t done, though. The next batter, Luis Arraez, scorched a liner to left. Eloy has been known to handle those like a man chasing a butterfly without a net, but not this time:
Tyler Guthrie relieved for the Twins and had zilch, allowing the Sox to add on a couple of insurance runs that proved crucial. He gave up four straight singles, to Moncada, All-Star José Abreu, fellow All-Star James McCann and John Jay, giving the Sox a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead.
Nothing’s comfortable against the Twins, though, especially with our pen. Marshall, who hasn’t been as sharp lately as he had been earlier in the season, gave up a single and a Nelson Cruz 111-mph, 433-foot blast to center. Then Leury García for some reason decided to just lob a throw to first on a routine grounder, picking up the first of his two errors on the day.
That brought in Aaron Bummer, who gave up singles to C.J. Cron and pinch-hitter Miguel Sanó, making it 4-3. Bummer escaped without further damage, with two strikeouts on pitches roughly five feet up the first-base line.
In the eighth, both Arraez and Jorge Polanco sent balls to the wall, which brought in Alex Colomé to get Cruz to ground out.
Colomé pitched around a Leury boot of a grounder in the ninth, getting his 18th save in 19 tries. Giolito picked up the victory, and will head to the All-Star Game with at least 11 wins against just two losses.
Moncada and Abreu each had three hits on the day, which in Moncada’s case raised his average to .304.
The Sox are off tomorrow, then host the Tigers for four, including a split doubleheader on Wednesday that features t
he Second Coming the first big league appearance of Dylan Cease in the 1:10 p.m. matinee.