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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Twins 10, White Sox 9

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox failed to close out the series-opening sweep on Thursday, falling 10-9 to the Minnesota Twins.

How it happened: The rebuilt bullpen remains a serious work in progress. Nate Lindstrom blew the save opportunity by giving up two runs in the ninth inning, but that was only a fraction of the story. Nate Jones walked two more batters in a short appearance Thursday meaning he has faced five batters in two outings this season and has not recorded an out. Right-hander Maikel Cleto, who looked good Wednesday, allowed both of his inherited runners to score and fellow righty Ronald Belisario gave up a game-tying home run in the eighth inning to Josmil Pinto.

What it means: The White Sox were willing to trade closer Addison Reed for future third base hopeful Matt Davidson and finding his replacement could be an ongoing process. Lindstrom got the save in the season opener, but he couldn't protect a one-run lead Thursday when he gave up a walk, a single and a triple for two runs. None of the relievers, outside of perhaps Daniel Webb, looks closer-worthy at the present time.

Outside the box: Looking for a lengthy outing from Jose Quintana after an 11-inning game Wednesday, the left-hander lasted six innings while giving up five runs. This one turned into a slugfest, something the White Sox weren't capable of participating in last season. Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn hit home runs, but the surprise long ball came from Marcus Semien, who gave the White Sox a brief lead. It was his first hit of the season. Rookie Jose Abreu had a big three-run triple in the sixth inning. Tyler Flowers set a career high with four hits, but Paul Konerko was called on to pinch hit for him in the ninth with the tying run on third base. Konerko grounded out to end the game.

Off beat: While all the talk is about Abreu's impressive opening three games, Dunn delivered two home runs to the White Sox's cause in the series. Dunn now has 443 home runs in his career, putting into a tie for 38th all-time with fellow long ball/strikeout threat Dave Kingman.

Up next: White Sox right-hander Erik Johnson will take the mound Friday at Kansas City in the opener of a three-game series. The Royals will counter with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie in the 3:10 p.m. start from Kaufmann Stadium.