Justin Morneau has been absolutely on fire ever since the calendar changed to August and Oswaldo Arcia added his 3rd home run in 2 days, but Mike Pelfrey handed out 5 walks and only completed 5 innings as the Twins lost to the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Pelfrey struggled with his control all day and perhaps the leadoff walk to Gordon Beckham foreshadowed his control issues. With one out, Alexei Ramirez doubled to move Beckham up to 3rd base, and after a walk to Adam Dunn to load the bases, the White Sox took an early 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Paul Konerko.
The Sox then added two more runs in the 2nd inning, this time with a leadoff homer by Jordan Danks. Pelfrey then followed with a walk to Josh Phegley, and after a fielder's choice groundout by Gordon Beckham, Conor Gillaspie reached on a fielding error by Chris Colabello in right field, which allowed Beckham to score all the way from 1st base.
The Twins quickly took back the lead in the top of the 3rd. With one out against Chicago rookie Andre Rienzo, Brian Dozier was hit by a pitch and then Joe Mauer singled to right field. This brought up Justin Morneau, who drove a Rienzo curveball into the seats beyond the Twins' bullpen in right field, his 14th of the season and 6th in August, to tie the game at 3. Next up was Josh Willingham who struck out, but then Oswaldo Arcia also took Rienzo deep to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.
The lead easily could have been extended over the next few innings, but the Twins were unable to score any more runs despite getting a runner into scoring position in innings 4 through 6. The White Sox eventually took advantage in the bottom of the 6th when they got a single by the recently-acquired Avisail Garcia and a walk from Jordan Danks. This knocked out Pelfrey from the game and brought in Anthony Swarzak, but he was unable to hold the lead. Josh Phegley sacrificed himself to move each runner up 90 feet, and then Blake Tekotte tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. Following a walk to Gordon Beckham, Conor Gillaspie hit a sinking liner to left field that Oswaldo Arcia just missed catching, which allowed Danks to score and give the Sox a 5-4 lead.
From there, the Twins threatened again in the 7th inning with a 1-out double by Arcia, but he was stranded in scoring position just like the prior 3 innings. Then in the top of the 9th against Sox closer Addison Reed, Arcia was up again and drove a pitch deep to left-center field, but left fielder Alejandro De Aza made a leaping catch in front of the wall to cement the loss for the Twins.
WP: David Purcey (1-1)
LP: Mike Pelfrey (4-10)
S: Addison Reed (28)
Brian Dozier (1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB, HBP), Justin Morneau (1 for 4, BB, HR, 3 RBI), Oswaldo Arcia (2 for 5, 2B, HR, RBI)
Player of the Game
There wasn't really a standout player from the White Sox today, so I might have to say it's a shared award between Paul Konerko (2 for 3, RBI) and Gordon Beckham (0 for 1, 2 R, 4 BB).