With Michael Pineda back off the injured list and Nelson Cruz in his second game back after a mini-absence, it certainly felt as though the Minnesota Twins had a chance to win the series against the mighty Chicago White Sox.
The Twins even started the game on the right foot, catching Tim Anderson stealing in the top of the first before Luis Arraez led off the bottom of the frame with a double. It didn’t last, however, and the White Sox quickly moved to bury the A.L. Central cellar-dwellers.
Indeed, three pitches after the Arraez double there were two outs, and Cruz flew out to end the early threat.
Pineda gave up a double and a home run to Adam Engel and a home run to Leury Garcia in the second inning but otherwise threw the ball well. Through three innings, the only offense the Twins were able to muster was a pair of hits from Arraez.
But Trevor Larnach led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot, and the deficit was sliced in half.
As has happened far too often this season, the new score was short-lived. In the top of the fifth, Billy Hamilton doubled and scored on an Anderson double. Pineda was still in the game in the sixth, striking out Brian Goodwin. But it was all downhill from there; an Engel double, Garcia triple, and Jake Burger double chased Pineda from the game.
Newly-recalled Derek Law retired the next two batters to get out of the jam without any further damage, but the score was already 5-1. The Sox added a run off Law in the seventh on a single, walk, and a double, and that got us to the 6-1 final score.
The Twins went out with a whimper, managing only a single apiece from Jorge Polanco and Cruz over their final four at-bats.
- The offense was anemic. Arraez’s leadoff double and Larnach’s solo homer were the only fireworks. Otherwise, they scattered four singles and three walks over the course of the game.
- Pineda wasn’t sharp, which was to be expected. While he didn’t walk anyone, that matters less when giving up 12 hits in five-plus innings and when seven of the hits are good for extra bases.
- Law and Caleb Thielbar cobbled together 3 2⁄3 innings of decent relief. Law stranded his inherited runners and gave up just one run in two-plus innings while Thielbar pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.
- Luis Arraez: 2-for-4, 2B, great defensive play at third base
- Jorge Polanco: 2-for-4
- Trevor Larnach: 1-for-3, HR, BB
- Nick Gordon: 0-for-4, 2 K
- Andrelton Simmons: 0-for-4
Thanks for participating in terrible day baseball!