Twins 5, White Sox 3: Everything crumbles

The White Sox still can’t win a series against a team that isn’t the Royals. Hell, they can’t even split one.

Even with an inspiring victory in the opener, and even with 6⅓ no-hit innings from James Shields today in the finale, the White Sox still managed to lose three of four to the Twins.

Shields went from a perfect game through five to losing the no-hitter, shutout, and briefly being in line for the loss in the seventh. When the White Sox tied it up in the bottom of the seventh to get Shields off the hook, the defense saddled Bruce Rondon with the loss instead.

The Twins scored five runs on four hits, and most of them came in the top of the seventh. Shields issued a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier, but came back to strikeout Max Kepler before Eduardo Escobar ended Shields’ run at history by looping a hanging curve to right. That put runners on the corners, and Eddie Rosario ended the shutout with a sharp single through the right side.

Shields retired Robbie Grossman on a flyout that put runners on the corners when Escobar tagged up, and Escobar scored when he roped a hanging Luis Avilan changup down the right field line.

That gave Minnesota a lead and turned Shields’ gem into a mere quality start. A two-out RBI single by Leury Garcia tied the game at 3 to put Shields in no-decision territory, but the Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit narrative hit a wall in the eighth.

It wasn’t Rondon’s fault. He walked Joe Mauer with one out, but the Sox had two chances to erase him on the basepaths and botched both of them.

First, Dozier hit a chopper over the mound. Tim Anderson fielded it, and while it developed too slowly for a double play, Anderson fumbled the ball briefly to jeopardize the out at second. Jose Rondon gave up on the possibility, anyway, and when Anderson still came through with an on-target flip to second, Rondon wasn’t ready for it. It bounced into right field, and Mauer took third.

A batter later, Kepler hit a chopper to a drawn-in Yolmer Sanchez. Sanchez looked like he pump-faked to first, and Mauer made a halting advance toward the plate. But then it looked like Sanchez just double-clutched, because he didn’t look Mauer back at all. He just threw to first, Mauer continued toward home in earnest, and he scored standing up for a very confusing go-ahead run.

Adding to the confusion, Nicky Delmonico of all people made an excellent leaping catch at the wall to rob Escobar of extra bases and end the inning.

Nate Jones then hung a slider to Rosario in the ninth for an insurance run.

The White Sox’ offense was good at playing for one run, and it might’ve been a successful strategy if their gloves cooperated. Kyle Gibson usually pushes them around — he entered with a 2.25 ERA against the Sox in 10 career starts — but they raised that number by cashing in every time a leadoff hitter reached base, even inelegantly.

They took a 2-0 lead on Minnesota by converting leadoff doubles. Adam Engel started the third with one to left field, and he came around on a Leury Garcia sacrifice bunt and some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE. It was more of a passed ball, as Bobby Wilson let a typical fastball in the dirt shoot through the five-hole, but it bailed out Sanchez after a strikeout regardless.

In the sixth, Sanchez split the shifted outfield with a double to right center, and flyouts to right by Jose Abreu and Matt Davidson grunted that run home.

It took until the seventh for the Sox to score a run on a hit. Rondon led off with a single, and moved to second when Anderson tried bunting for a hit and settled for a sacrifice. Adam Engel was rung up on a fastball off the plate for strike three on Gibson’s last pitch of the day for the second out.

Paul Molitor came out and lifted Gibson for Zach Duke, wanting to turn around Garcia. It didn’t work, as Garcia punched an elevated 2-1 changeup through the right side for the game-tying single.

The White Sox weren’t so successful in the four innings where their leadoff man didn’t reach, and the last two innings followed suit. Addison Reed and Fernando Rodney pitched perfect innings to close it out.

Record: 9-23 | Box score

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

White Sox Baseball: Everything Crumbles


Times are rough.


I assume the unwritten rule is to never pull out a pitcher in the middle of a no hitter, but I’m sure an exception can be made for James Shields and TTOP. 


Shields pitched his heart out. I’d rather not hear about him being the problem in this game.


Lol, I’m not saying he was the problem. 

Kopech left after 3 innings and 66 pitches. Anything to it besides getting pulled for control issues?


I see that attendance is about 15k average at home for 2018. I wonder if this is typical for this time of year. I don’t like being at odds with ‘my team’ but I can only hope that attendance is relative to what they put on the field. There has to be a penalty for putting us thru this rebuild. And I hope it is just painful enough so that the next rebuild takes place in the front office. That said, I hope that their plan works and we begin to see changes in the next weeks.


If the Sox see a financial “penalty” for rebuilding that just means there will be less to spend on FA over the next few years

Shingos Cheeseburgers

Think of it as a way to less severely overpay for Todd Frazier after the 2019 season. 


if there is no financial penalty for rebuilding then there is no reason to spend money on FA’s

Shingos Cheeseburgers

And if the announced attendance is 15k you can bet the ‘butts in seats’ number is closer to 10k

The Sox seem to have figured out that it’s more cost effective to close the upper deck for low attendance games like last thurs and fri. Methinks we’re gonna see a lot of empty upper decks over the next 2 years. 

Patrick Nolan



Why only one L?