The Twins got the first laugh, both in the Josh Donaldson-Lucas Giolito feud and in the game.
But the White Sox got the second laugh, the last laugh, and all the laughs in between. In fact, they may as well have been laughing all the way to the division title.
After being serenaded with boos, Josh Donaldson skied a 97-mile-per-hour fastball into the stratosphere in the top of the first, complete with a dramatic bat flip. As good as it felt, it was easily the high point for the Twins.
Baily Ober retired the White Sox on 10 pitches in the bottom of the frame, but gave three runs on a pair of home runs in the second. Jose Abreu extended the lead to 4-1 with a solo homer in the bottom of the third.
The Twins briefly threatened in the fourth with a one-out double from Nelson Cruz and a four-pitch to Max Kepler. But Alex Kirilloff and Nick Gordon each grounded into a force outs and that was that.
After a walk and a single in the bottom of the inning, Ober was removed after just 3 1⁄3 innings in favor of Matt Shoemaker. Things went about as expected for the former starter, who gave up a sacrifice fly in the fourth and six earned runs in the fifth. Shoemaker ended up throwing 82 pitches in just 2 2⁄3 innings, not even able to effectively eat innings.
The remaining Twins offense came on a solo home run from Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning and Gilberto Celestino in the eighth.
This was yet another flat performance from the Twins, and while the offense struggled, it’s the pitching staff that deserves the bulk of the blame.
- The Twins had zero singles in this game. They had just five hits: three solo home runs and two doubles.
- After Donaldson’s first-inning home run, he struck out twice, much to the delight of the Guaranteed Rate Field crowd.
- Ober got ahead of hitters throughout his time on the mound, but he primarily used get-me-over breaking balls and then proceeded to nibble at the strike zone. The White Sox were patient, fouling off borderline pitches until getting manageable pitches to hit. Ober was ahead 0-2 on Brian Goodwin in the second inning before he worked the count full and golfed a low breaking ball into the seats in the right field. Ober was up 0-2 on the next batter before walking him, and later in the inning, he was up 0-2 on Andrew Vaughn before giving up a two-run homer on a 1-2 count.
- Matt Shoemaker can’t be long for the roster, can he? Woof.
- Nelson Cruz: 2-for-3, BB, HR
- Alex Colome and Caleb Thielbar: Combined 2 IP, H, 2 K — finally, someone stopped the White Sox offense!
- Bailey Ober: 3 1⁄3 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 HR
- Matt Shoemaker: 2 2⁄3 IP, 8 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 0 K
- Trevor Larnach: 0-for-4, 2 K