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MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Lenyn Sosa launched the second bomb of his career.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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Twins 3, White Sox 1: The little things matter

South Siders literally drop the rubber match in Minnesota

First and foremost, we send good thoughts to Kyle Farmer, who Giolito hit with a pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning. Thankfully, he walked off the field on his own accord. We wish Farmer a quick return to the diamond.

This game was tight, like the previous two, with outstanding starting pitching from both sides. Today the White Sox saw a different Sonny Gray from the one they faced on Jul. 14, 2022, at Target Field when they tattooed him for six earned runs on nine hits in 3 2⁄3 innings. Gray blanked the South Siders over five innings pitched, allowing no runs on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 0.53. If this is the guy the Twins get each time he’s on the bump, it will be all sunny skies and no clouds for Gray and Minnesota.

Lucas Giolito looked fantastic today, like the Gio of old, and pitched well enough to win. Still, thanks to another terrible defensive showing by his teammates, he got the L despite earning his first quality start of the season. Seeing that the velocity was up on all four of his pitches was refreshing, and he averaged 93.3 mph, specifically on the four-seam fastball. Gio pitched himself out of a few jams, gave up only one run on five hits and two walks, and struck out seven in six innings.

A bright spot on this gorgeous spring day is that the rust seems to be falling off of Chicago’s starting pitching; it surrendered only five earned runs in the entire three-game series. Now, if only we could pitch, hit, AND play defense all at the same time.

Too much to ask, I guess.

Scoring was sparse in the series overall, and this contest was no different. The Twins scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth after a complete cluster by the Pale Hose defense. Ryan Jeffers started the inning with a triple that should have been an error on Gavin Sheets after he got turned around on a sharp fly ball and tripped over his own feet. Then, after a pop out by Trevor Larnach, Giolito hit Farmer, Edouard Julien walked, and Andrew Vaughn bobbled a ground out to first by Michael A. Taylor, allowing the runner to score from third.

Then, things broke open for the Twins with Aaron Bummer on the mound in the bottom of the eighth. Minnesota scored a run off Jeffers’ single and Willi Castro’s double. Then, Gregory Santos replaced Bummer, who quickly gave up a single to Taylor, scoring Castro. Just like that, it was 3-0, Twins.

Time and time again, the White Sox continue to get in their own way. Little things matter, and until there are systemic changes, history will keep repeating itself. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. You know, like putting infielders in the outfield and thinking they’ll magically become outfielders.

There was no Sox offense to speak of until Lenyn Sosa cranked a solo home run, his first of the year and second of his MLB career, with two outs off of Twins closer Jhoan Durán in the top of the ninth.

The excitement was short-lived, as Seby Zavala then grounded out to first to end the game. After winning the first game in the series, the Sox drop the final two. They are still trying to get their first series win of the young 2023 season.

The White Sox have a day off on Thursday before facing the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies during a brief, six-game homestand.

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