So what is the story of Sunday’s game?
Is it first impressions? Tim Anderson socked Chris Archer’s first pitch into the bullpen.
Is it strikeouts? Lucas Giolito whiffed nine in just four innings.
Is it missed opportunities? Trevor Larnach stranded five runners with a pair of two-out backwards Ks, while Luis Arraez grounded out to leave the bases full in the eighth.
Is it tenacity? Josh Winder pitched four three-hit, one-run innings to spell Archer, who lasted just three.
Is it defense? Larnach saved a run by throwing out José Abreu at the plate, while Gio Urshela made a thrilling web gem with a diving stop and throw from his rear.
Are you kidding?
This is a Twins game.
The story is Byron Buxton, and it is redemption.
After striking out in his first three plate appearances, Buxton came up to face Aaron Bummer with Minnesota down 3-1 and José Godoy on first. He tied the game with one swing, lining a shot into the porch in right field.
A walk in the eighth did not end up paying off, but his next time at the plate more than did.
After the White Sox took a 4-3 lead in the tenth (what happened next resulted in my deletion of a Manfred Man rant from this recap), SAR* Nick Gordon took his place on second base. Miguel Sanó fouled out before Godoy worked another walk, summoning Buxton to the box. On the first pitch, Liam Hendriks let loose a wild throw that advanced both runners, leading to speculation that Chicago ought to walk the dangerous Buxton to face the contact-heavy-power-light Arraez.
Why Tony La Russa did not, only he and God know.
Instead, Buxton put his bat to a 3-1 pitch and sent it approximately nine thousand** feet into the third deck of the stadium.
Twins walk it off.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Byron Buxton (3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB)
Gio Urshela (2-3, RBI, BB, Web Gem)
Josh Winder (4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 K)
Jhoan Duran (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 K)
Max Kepler (2-3, 2 BB)
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD:
mikecardii speaks for us all:
God damn Buxton gives me LIFE.
*that’s “Standard Automatic Runner” if you’re Rob Manfred, or “Stupid-Ass Rule” if you’re not
**469 feet according to the tape, nine thousand feet according to the heart