Another day, another Minnesota Twins offensive outage.
Lucas Giolito dominated a low-scoring affair as the Twins managed only two hits, both by Nelson Cruz. The pitching was good enough, but, as it turns out, so was Giolito.
The Twins’ greatest threat came in the bottom of the first inning. After Luis Arraez coaxed a leadoff walk from Giolito, Nelson Cruz stroked a one-out single before Max Kepler flew out and Miguel Sano struck out.
Through three innings, the White Sox only had two baserunners, both reaching on walks.
Then, Nelson Cruz started the scoring for the Twins in the bottom of the third inning, blasting a 96 mile-per-hour fastball from Giolito to center field, a line drive that landed just to the left of the tall wall in right-centerfield.
But that was it. Giolito faced the minimum the rest of the way, yielding only a leadoff walk to Jorge Polanco to begin the bottom of the sixth, and he was erased on a Max Kepler double-play ball. Giolito pitched eight innings, and Liam Hendriks worked an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning to put the game away.
Matt Shoemaker pitched well enough for the Twins, giving up only two earned runs on five hits in six innings, although he did issue four walks and only tally two strikeouts. The White Sox first run came in the fifth inning after a leadoff double in the fifth from Leury Garcia, a sacrifice bunt, and a two-out infield single by Adam Eaton.
Chicago took the lead for good in the sixth following another leadoff double, a groundout, walk, and long single to the left-field corner. Trevor Larnach held Garcia to a single, but the damage was done and the White Sox took a 2-1 lead.
It turned out to be enough for Giolito, who cruised through another three innings before turning it over to Hendriks, and the Twins faded quietly once again.
- Silver lining time: the Twins bullpen combined to throw three scoreless and hitless innings with three strikeouts and zero hits.
- Yes, Cruz ended up with the Twins’ only hits in this game. That means that all non-Cruz batters finished 0-for-24 with three walks and 13 strikeouts. Oof.
- Not sure what else to say. This was, I suppose, par-for-the-course for the 2021 Twins, sans a bullpen collapse.
- Nelson Cruz: 2-for-4, HR
- Bullpen (Alex Colome, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcala): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB
- Non-Cruz Twins offense: 0-for-24, 13 K, 3 BB