- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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How it happened: J.B. Shuck's pinch-hit single in the eighth inning gave the White Sox their first lead of the day. New closer David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save in a White Sox uniform. Adam LaRoche and Geovany Soto each hit their first home runs for the White Sox. Starter Jeff Samardzija gave up four runs in eight hits in seven innings as the White Sox’s rotation still has not delivered a quality start after five games.
What it means: It took a four-run deficit in the second inning before the White Sox showed their first significant signs of life this season. Before Shuck put the White Sox ahead in the eighth, the club’s only other lead this season came on Tyler Flowers’ three-run home run early in the second game at Kansas City. After a rocky spring training, Robertson put the coaching staff at ease by dominating the ninth inning with three strikeouts.
Outside the box: Samardzija’s pitching line will show he was only slightly improved from his first start, but the outing Saturday was actually loads better. After giving up five runs in six innings on Opening Day at Kansas City, Samardzija was solid Saturday in six of his seven innings. That one poor inning was awful, though, as the Twins scored four runs off of him on five hits with one error, a wild throw by Soto on a base-stealing attempt.
Off beat: There were two more errors from the White Sox on Saturday, but the defense did show flashes of excellence. Alexei Ramirez got some hang time on leaps that took away two Twins base hits, and Melky Cabrera made a nice catch on the run in left field while closing in on the wall. But errors by Soto and Conor Gillaspie (fielding) show that more improvement is necessary.
Up next: The White Sox will send left-hander Chris Sale to the mound Saturday in the final game of the three-game series. The Twins will counter with right-hander Phil Hughes (0-1, 6.00 ERA) in the 1:10 p.m. start from U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox picked up their first victory of the season as J.B. Shuck drove in the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit single.