Ivan Nova had given up just two runs in his last 37 innings. Things seemed to get off to a great start as the Twins put a two spot on the scoreboard in the first inning.
After a long battle to lead off the game, Luis Arraez blasted a double to center field. Jorge Polanco then hooked a double into the right field corner, and Nelson Cruz, fresh off the IL, followed up with a single. Just three batters into the bottom of the first, the Twins were up 2-0.
Unfortunately, the Twins would be hampered by a lack of clutch hitting, and would not score again until the seventh inning.
Kyle Gibson cruised through 2.1 innings, but then proceeded to give up four hits to the next five batters, including a couple of two-out RBI hits. After a two-out RBI single by journeyman Ryan Goins, Jose Abreau smashed a center-cut 92 MPH two-seamer about a quarter mile to left field to give Chicago a 4-2 lead. The White Sox tacked on another run in seventh on a suicide squeeze (on an 0-2 pitch), taking a 5-2 lead.
Jorge Polanco got one right back in the bottom of the seventh, smacking his 18th bomba of the year to bring the Twins within two. The White Sox got the run right back in the eighth off of Lewis Thorpe, as a single, walk, and single increased their lead back to three runs.
Things got interesting in the ninth. It looked as if the game might come to the close as Jorge Polanco hit what looked to be a double-play ball, but he hustled it out and beat the throw. Nelson Cruz followed it up with a laser off the right field wall for a single, and Eddie Rosario singled home a run to make the score 6-4. As the winning run at the plate, Miguel Sano then struck out to the end the game after starting the count up 2-0. He had a 2-1 91 MPH cutter right down the middle that he fouled back right before he swung and missed to end the game.
Gibson has struggled against batters with RISP and two outs this season, with a 1.126 OPS in such situations coming into the game, which likely went up after tonight.
It seemed as if the Twins hit a lot of balls to the warning track tonight (and hit a lot of balls pretty hard for outs) and Statcast’s new xBA for each game backed that up. The Twins expected batting average based on batted ball types was .383, while the White Sox’s was .208
The Twins managed just four extra base hits of their 15 base knocks, and only three hits with runners in scoring position (both within the first three batters).
Cleveland did not play, and the Twins now have a 2.0-game lead in the AL Central.
Jorge Polanco: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
Luis Arraez: 3-5, R
Eddie Rosario: 2-4, four balls hit 95+ MPH
Nelson Cruz: 2-5, three balls hit 95+ MPH
Marwin Gonzalez: 0-4, 2 Ks
One really bad pitch for Gibson that resulted in a three-run bomb
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|10||Lars in SLP||5|
|16||The Empire Strikes Out||3|