And the magic number stays at seven.
The White Sox trotted out Ivan Nova to start the game but he only threw one inning as Chicago split the game between eight pitchers. The Twins’ Jake Odorizzi was solid, especially early on, ultimately getting pulled after 5 2⁄3 innings. Odo gave up only two earned runs on seven hits, but ran into his typically high pitch count in the middle innings.
The bullpen was solid, with Cody Stashak completing 1 1⁄3 innings with three strikeouts and just one hit. Then, Fernando Romero pitched two-thirds of an inning while giving up one hit. Finally, Brusdar Graterol logged 1 1⁄3 innings and gave up a solo home run to Zack Collins in the ninth.
Offensively, the Twins barely put up a struggle. Despite drawing three walks in the first two innings, they didn’t manage a hit until there was one out in the sixth. After Jorge Polanco broke the ice with a single, Nelson Cruz walked and Eddie Rosario rolled a single through the right side to get the Twins on the board.
Trailing 2-1, Miguel Sano flew out for the second out of the inning. A passed ball put two runners in scoring position and Jake Cave walked to load the bases. With Jonathan Schoop due up and right-hander Jimmy Cordero on the mound, Rocco Baldelli sent Lamonte Wade, Jr. up to pinch-hit.
Sure enough, Wade got ahead 2-0 and threatened to draw an RBI walk. But after a strike down the middle, he reached to pull a pitch that appeared to be on the black on the outside corner to second base, and the rally was over.
The Twins didn’t get another hit until Eddie Rosario lofted a fly ball off the right field wall in the eighth. The ball bounced past right fielder Leury Garcia but center fielder Adam Engel had ran over to back him up and played it perfectly, throwing a strike to third base. Rosario was out trying to stretch a double into a triple with two outs in the eight in a one-run game, with Miguel Sano waiting to come to the plate.
The White Sox scored again on Collins’ homer in the ninth, and the Twins went down in order in the bottom of the frame, cementing the 3-1 win for Chicago.
- The Wade-pinch-hitting-for-Schoop situation is interesting, and provides a glimpse as to what Baldelli may be thinking when it comes to the playoff roster. Then again, Jake Cave is more versatile and has more offensive punch than Wade, so presuming that Max Kepler is healthy enough to assume his regular role, it would be a mild surprise to see Wade land on the postseason roster.
- I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it has to be the first time in a really, really long time that Luis Arraez, Nelson Cruz, and Miguel Sano all started and went hitless.
- The Twins bullpen continues to impress. The idea of throwing a bullpen game or two over the course of a playoff series may not be all that far-fetched.
- Eddie Rosario: 2-for-4, RBI
- Cody Stashak: 1 1⁄3 IP, 3 K, H
- 7 of the Twins’ 9 lineup spots: 0-for-22
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