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Target fields best stadum in the american league
The White Sox extended their Minneapolis winning streak to two on Tuesday with a convincing, enthralling, and Twins-aided 5-2 victory.
Playing without a roof, the Twins looked like the Sox in the fifth inning, giving away three — count ’em — three extra outs, which the Sox used to pile on three more runs. Incidentally, that was the margin of victory.
We all know the Sox needed to win this one, and they probably need to win today’s game in order to pry open a window of opportunity, but try not to focus on that. The Sox merely need to sell competence at this juncture, giving the impression to fans that these fan-building games will outnumber the fan-murderers. An unusual win over their most hated rival will build goodwill more than anything else.
Anyway, three things I learned from Tuesday’s game:
No. 1: Freddy Garcia gets slower…
…and hitters stay the same age. Or keep doing the same thing.
Sweaty Freddy continued his up-some-down-more velocity pattern, with his fastball averaging a paltry 86.05 m.p.h. And he was throwing 83-84 m.p.h. in the first couple of innings.
But he continues to prove himself an artist of junk. I don’t know if he’s had a finer moment than the fifth inning. After the Sox gave him a 5-1 lead, he risked falling into an old habit of squandering support after Nick Punto and Denard Span singled.
Garcia responded by striking out Orlando Hudson and Joe Mauer, both of whom were hitting lefty. That’s pretty ballsy.
No. 2: Target Field isn’t kind to power.
Gordon Beckham, who is now hitting eighth, hit a deep drive to left field that would have left the yard at U.S. Cellular Field. The kind of hit that would’ve been a great slump-buster at home landed in Delmon Young’s glove at Target Field, and he wasn’t even against the wall when he caught it.
But it worked both ways, because Justin Morneau got every piece of Matt Thornton’s fastball and sent it soaring to center — and Alex Rios caught it with room to spare, in front of the 411-feet marker. That would have changed the game in the Metrodome.
“The ball Morneau hit, that was like 30 rows up in the old park. They hit a couple of balls that should have been home runs. So did we.”
No. 3: Carlos Quentin was really off.
Here’s the combined chart from his last three at-bats, when he could barely touch anything. All of these pitches were fastballs.
Bobby Jenks cares not for worrywarts:
“It’s one game,” Jenks said. “Everybody’s hitting the panic button in [expletive] April. Chill out. The other game [Friday night] I gave up a solo home run, the wind was blowing out 20 miles per an hour.” […] “I don’t want to comment too much about it because I don’t want to really start anything, but it’s one game,” he said. “It’s one [expletive] game. Things happen.”
Seeking an alternative to Randy Williams, the Sox called on an old hand, signing Alan Embree to a minor-league contract.
Embree pitched for the Sox in 2001, where he was known for his mega-straight 95-m.p.h. fastball and goofy ears. Looking back on it now, he was more a victim of usage. Righties battered him around for a 1.095 OPS, but he held lefties to a .647 OPS. Guess which one he faced more often?
Believe it or not, that was nine years ago. He last pitched for the Rockies in 2009, where lefties hit him at a .326/.383/.512 clip. However, in his time with the Red Sox’s Triple-A affiliate this season, he held lefties hitless over 13 at-bats.
He also used to have a haircut you could set your watch to, for what it’s worth.
Minor league roundup:
- Charlotte 2, Lehigh Valley 1
- Jordan Danks went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He struck out once.
- Bad day for C.J. Retherford, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and committed a throwing error.
- Dayan Viciedo doubled and struck out over four at-bats.
- Jeff Marquez struck out six over seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and not one walk.
- Jacksonville 10, Birmingham 1
- Brent Morel went 0-for-4; John Shelby went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Christian Marrero drew two walks and struck out once.
- Winston-Salem 8, Potomac 5
- Brandon Short went 4-for-5 with two RBI, and is now hitting .393. He also stole his third base.
- Eduardo Escobar went 3-for-5 with two RBI, striking out once.
- Justin Greene singled, doubled and walked. He was caught stealing.
- Jon Gilmore had a single over five at-bats.
- Nathan Jones was erratic: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
- Kyle Bellamy faced two batters and recorded three outs.
- Kannapolis OFF