Entering this afternoon's contest, the Twins were hitting just .234 with runners in scoring position - good for 27th in all of baseball. Even Ron Gardenhire understands what a big deal this has been:
"The biggest stat for us this year is runners in scoring position. We've missed a lot of opportunities. So home runs are all good and fine, but we need to come through in RBI situations."
Today, Minnesota was 2-for-18 in those situations. Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit were hitless and stranded five runners each. The only starter today who stranded fewer than two base runners today was Pedro Florimon, which is the silver lining in his 0-for-3 day. The White Sox, meanwhile, were a far better 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Samuel Deduno didn't walk anybody today but only struck out three batters, surrendering eight hits in five innings while getting charged with all five of Chicaog's runs. Hector Santiago was much better, being a bit uncharacteristic by only striking out a solitary batter in six innings; Josh Willingham was retired with two on and nobody out in the bottom of the first.
Willingham did give the Twins their best chance by lining a ball into center in the third, scoring Brian Dozier and cutting the deficit to one at 3-2. But it was as close as Minnesota would get and, after taking the series opener on Thursday, dropped all three games over the weekend. The Sox are now within 5.5 games of fourth place in the AL Central.
If the season ended today, the Twins would be drafting seventh in the 2014 draft. For what it's worth.
Bullet Point Highlights
- Ryan Pressly threw three scoreless innings, working around back-to-back walks in the top of the eighth. They were the only two base runners he allowed, striking out two and not giving up a hit.
- Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth.
- Four of the five base runners stranded by Ryan Doumit came with two outs.
- Alexei Ramirez had a huge day for Chicago, collecting three hits including a double and a homer run, driving in three runs.
- Jeff Keppinger's batting stance.
- Adam Dunn struck out three times, ensuring the sun will rise tomorrow.