Well hey, the season run tally is now White Sox 15, Twins 13, as the South Siders returned serve and slapped a 10-spot up on Minnesota’s bullpen on Saturday. The game started out nip-and-tuck, with Chicago holding a mere 1-0 lead halfway home, but then thunder struck. Leury García, Edwin Encarnación and Eloy Jiménez all homered to blow the doors off and extend the lead to 5-0. Better, when Nelson Cruz clocked a screaming meemie out to cut the lead to 5-3, the White Sox counterpunched immediately, homers from García and McCann extending the lead to 10-3.
It was a much better day for the White Sox starter, with Dallas Keuchel looking like he could have gone seven with ease. With a 57 game score, Kid Keuchy put together the best start of anyone in the series so far, giving up just three hits and two runs over 5 ⅓ innings. Spot starter Randy Dobnak was very good if inefficient for the Twins as well, with a 56 GS after scattering three hits and a run over four.
In the top of the fourth, Keuchel coaxed a 5-4-3 double play from Josh Donaldson, turning a mini-rally (runner on first, none out) into a bases-clean situation. The 1.85 LI represented the most intense play of the game.
As can be the case in a contest that ends up a blowout, there was no massive leverage faced in the game. But Drobnak’s 1.04 pLI takes the honors in this game.
What a fun one this was. Edwin Encarnación simply UNLEASHED on a Zack Littell toss with two outs. And that moon shot to left field extended the lead to 4-0 and came with a game-high .127 WPA. Extra points could have been awarded for the bat drop.
Keuchel takes today’s honors with a .262 WPA for the game. While García made all the noise, with homers from both sides of the plate and four RBIs, it was yesterday’s MVP Yoán Moncada who was the runner-up, at .124.
Magic Number: 8
With his pair of homers from both sides of the plate, García became just the eighth player in White Sox history to accomplish the feat. Yoán Moncada last did so, just more than a year ago, last July 4.