Albers Finally Has A Dud As Twins Lose To White Sox 8-5

Start #3 wasn't quite as magical for Andrew Albers. - Hannah Foslien

The lefthander's scoreless streak to begin his career ended quickly in this one, and some late runs stymied the Twins' attempt at a comeback.

All good things must come to an end, eh?

Sorry for the little bit of Canadian at the end there, but Andrew Albers was outdueled by Chris Sale and the defense didn't help either as the Twins lost 8-5 to the White Sox on Saturday night.

Albers came into the game with a 17 1/3 inning scoreless streak to start his career, but he was unable to make it a full 18 before he gave up his first run of his career. Leadoff hitter Alejandro De Aza singled to left field, and then Gordon Beckham hit a weak ground out to shortstop that advanced De Aza to second base. This brought up Alexei Ramirez, who lifted a lazy fly ball to Clete Thomas in center field. However, Thomas lost the fly in the sun, and the ball just eluded Pedro Florimon's diving attempt as Ramirez was rewarded with a gift double, although De Aza was only able to advance one base. Next up was Paul Konerko, who grounded out to short to bring home the first run of the game.

Sale started out pitching very well as he struck out the side in the 1st and then tacked on another strikeout in the 2nd. He was well on his way to another 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd after retiring the first two hitters, but Pedro Florimon became the first Twins baserunner with a groundball single to center field. Next was Brian Dozier, who hit a grounder to shortstop where Alexei Ramirez made a nice sliding stop, but the ball slipped out of his glove as he attempted to exchange it to his throwing hand, and Dozier was credited with a single. Joe Mauer was then able to get his hands around an inside slider from Sale and drove it off the scoreboard in right-center field to score 2 runs and give the Twins a 2-1 lead. Next was Josh Willingham, and he mimicked Mauer with a double of his own to bring home the Twins' third run.

However, the lead for the Twins would be short-lived. Just like Sale in the 3rd, Albers retired the first two batters, but then ran into trouble as he gave up consecutive doubles to Adam Dunn and Avisail Garcia. Albers then handed out a walk to Jeff Keppinger that was rare for both parties involved, which was then followed by a three-run homer to left field by Dayan Viciedo, and the White Sox suddenly led 5-3.

Both starting pitchers finally settled in, as both completed 7 innings and did not give up any more runs, although the Twins did threaten a few times with a runner in scoring position in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Another run didn't score until the 8th inning, but once again it was due to a Twins outfielder losing a ball in the sky.

Josh Roenicke took over for Albers to start the 8th and promptly hit Alejandro De Aza with a pitch. Roenicke did succeed in retiring the next two batters, but then allowed a single to Paul Konerko. Ron Gardenhire chose to bring in Caleb Thielbar to face Adam Dunn, and Thielbar did his job by inducing a fly ball to left field. However, Josh Willingham never saw the ball, despite the ball not being hit into the stadium lights or the sun, and by the time he found Dunn's fly ball it was too late as it dropped about 10 feet to his right, and Dunn was given a gift double to match Alexei Ramirez's in the first inning. On Willingham's miscue, De Aza scored and it was now a 3 run deficit for the Twins.

They made the game a little closer in the bottom of the inning, though. Nate Jones was the first reliever to take over for Chris Sale, and the Twins greeted him rudely with a double from Josh Willingham, and then Ryan Doumit golfed a low 99 MPH fastball from Jones over the scoreboard in right-center field for a 2-run homer, cutting the lead to just one.

Still the White Sox were not finished. Casey Fien finished the 8th inning for the Twins and was tasked with getting through the 9th, but his recent struggles continued. With one out, he gave up a single to Jordan Danks, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement, and then two batters later, De Aza took Fien deep to right field for a 2-run homer, and the lead was back up to 3. White Sox closer Addison Reed came in for the save in the bottom of the 9th and he set down the Twins in order to finish the game.

WP: Chris Sale (9-11)

LP: Andrew Albers (2-1)

S: Addison Reed (30)

Studs

Josh Willingham (2 for 4, 2 2B, RBI, R), Ryan Doumit (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI, R), Wilkin Ramirez (1 for 2, 2 BB)

Duds

Andrew Albers (7 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 3 K), Trevor Plouffe (0 for 4, K), Chris Herrmann (0 for 4)

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