Friday, August 1, 2014
Rapid Reaction: White Sox 10, Twins 8
By Sahadev Sharma Special to ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox rallied for four runs in the eighth inning Friday night, then held on for a 10-8 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series.
Here's a quick look at the game.
How it happened: The White Sox scored early when Moises Sierra sent a second-inning triple into the right-field corner to score Alejandro De Aza. Sierra then came around to score when Adam Eaton put down a bunt single. However, the lead didn't last long as Chris Sale appeared a little off his game. Sale gave up five runs in the top of the fourth, including a two-run double to rookie Kennys Vargas, his first major-league hit in only his second at-bat.
The Sox slowly chipped away, with a run in both the third and the fourth -- the latter of which came on a Jose Abreu single -- before Tyler Flowers tied the score in the fifth with a solo home run. The Sox took the lead in the very next inning when Alexei Ramirez doubled in Abreu. Kurt Suzuki, who doubled and scored in the third, tied the score with an RBI single in the seventh. The Twins jumped back in front in the top of the eighth, and the back-and-forth contest continued, with the Sox regaining the lead in the bottom half of the inning on RBI singles from Paul Konerko, Ramirez, Flowers and De Aza. Jake Petricka gave up a run in the ninth but came away with his seventh save.
What it means: Sale didn't have his best stuff, and this start won't be a résumé highlight as he makes a run at the Cy Young Award, but outside of a rough third, he limited the Twins offense and kept his team in the game. That third inning saw Minnesota cross home five times, with four earned runs. In 31⅔ July innings, Sale gave up only three earned runs.
Abreu went 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch, giving him 10 consecutive plate appearances in which he has reached safely. The win for the Sox pulls them one step closer to .500, and while they're still not ready to be called playoff contenders, on days when Sale is pitching and with a lineup built around Abreu, they're an interesting team going forward.
Outside the box: Rehabbing reliever Matt Lindstrom threw one inning in the first game of a doubleheader for Triple-A Charlotte on Friday night, giving up one hit, one run and one walk. Lindstrom has been out since suffering an ankle injury May 19, an injury that eventually required surgery. Avisail Garcia, who suffered a shoulder injury April 9, was the designated hitter in Game 2. Garcia went 2-for-4 with two strikeouts and a run scored on the evening.
Up next: Chicago's Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.29 ERA) takes on Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.38) in Saturday night's middle game of the series, scheduled for 6:10 CT at U.S. Cellular Field.