Eloy was back! And in a big way, too!
In his first at-bat since April 23, Eloy Jiménez struck out looking. But then came his second:
The two-run homer, a 156-foot high moon shot, was barely fair, but good enough for the White Sox to for some reason post it twice. Sure, why not?
That was part of a very consistent game pattern, at least in regulation:
- Twins take the lead in the first, 1-0, when Tim Anderson forgets you’re supposed to tag the runner with the ball, not an empty glove, negating an inning-ending double play. Sox tie it up in bottom half, Anderson making up for the ball-glove thing by walking, advancing on an errant pickoff try, and scoring on Jose Abreu’s double.
- Twins take the lead 3-1 in the top of the second. Sox tie it in the fourth on Eloy’s dinger.
- Twins take the lead 5-3 in the fifth on a Jorge Polanco homer. White Sox tie it in the bottom when Luis Robert decides if Eloy can do it, so can he:
- Twins take the lead 6-5 in the seventh when Polanco gets greedy and homers again. Sox tie it up in the bottom when Jiménez singles in Robert.
- Twins take the lead 8-6 in the eighth on Gino Urshela’s two-run shot. Sox tie it in the bottom when Andrew Vaughn, who had a nice leaping grab of a liner at first base, launches a matching two-runner.
- Twins forget to take the lead in the 10th. Sox win it, 9-8, when Manfred Man Adam Engel gets to third on a passed ball and scores on Leury García’s grounder through the drawn-in infield.
The White Sox had 14 hits, two apiece from Vaughn, Robert, Abreu, Gavin Sheets, Jiménez and Seby Zavala. The Twins were held to a mere 13, four of them by Luis Arráez and three by Urshela. Byron Buxton was their offensive goat, 0-for-5 with two Ks.
As for pitching, well, uh, er, um, there was some. While the Sox benefited greatly from the total lack of command of Twins starter Joe Ryan, Lance Lynn didn’t come out much better. It took him 29 pitches to get through the first inning, 24 more in the second, so, while efficiency improved after that, he only lasted five innings and 91 pitches, giving up five runs.
Of the relievers, Reynaldo López escaped unscathed despite two hits, and Liam Hendriks and José Ruiz cruised. As for Kendall Graveman and Matt Foster, they at least didn’t give up so many runs the Sox couldn’t catch back up.
The win averts a potential sweep and puts the White Sox at 39-41, 5 1⁄2 behind the Twins and only one behind the Guardians, who somehow managed to get swept by the Tigers.
Gotta hope that didn’t inspire Detroit to more orneriness, because the Tigers come to town for four beginning tomorrow night, with Tigers-slayer Dylan Cease starting the first game,
Important note: while he even made a grab of a foul fly that took him into the netting, Eloy went the entire game without injuring himself or anyone else.