The White Sox entered today having lost their last four games, and their last six games decided by one run.
Both skids came to a halt tonight with one swing of the bat. Trayce Thompson seized a 3-1 count against Addison Reed with two outs in the ninth and socked a no-doubt dinger to left for the game-winner.
As a result, the White Sox were able to add to the Twins’ woes instead.
Twins jump out to a four-run lead against an 8-20 team and end up losing on a walk-off home run. They already have five walk-off losses. What a mess.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) May 4, 2018
Indeed, the Twins led this one 5-1. Reynaldo Lopez fell behind thanks to a combination of bad luck, bad defense and then less-than-stellar stuff.
Lopez gave up two runs in the third on a bloop “double” (a single that Nicky Delmonico picked up awkwardly). Two passed balls from Omar Narvaez later, the Twins had a run home and a runner on third, and Jason Castro cashed in the latter with a sac fly.
The other three were on Lopez, and they all came in the fourth. He walked Eduardo Escobar on four pitches, then, after a mound visit from Rick Renteria and not Don Cooper, gave up a double to Eddie Rosario to make it a 3-1 game. Robbie Grossman popped up to give Lopez a chance to escape the inning with no furhter damage, but Logan Morrison crushed a hanging 1-0 changeup into the patio to make it a 5-1 game.
The White Sox couldn’t find the crooked numbers so easily, but Ricky’s Offense Didn’t Quit, scoring in four consecutive innings to tie it up.
Third inning: Adam Engel walked with one out, stole second, took third when the throw went into center field and scored on Yolmer Sanchez’s groundout.
Fourth inning: Nicky Delmonico singled with one out, followed two batters later by a Daniel Palka blast that might’ve made his former team just a little remorseful. That narrowed Minnesota’s lead to 5-3.
Fifth inning: Narvaez ripped a double down the line, moved to third on an Engel “sacrifice” bunt, then scored when Sanchez ripped a single to right.
Sixth inning: Jose Abreu walked, and then Matt Davidson chased Jake Odorizzi with a terrific at-bat. He fell behind 02, then alternated fouls and takes before staying on top of a high fastball and hitting it over the head of Grossman in right. Abreu chugged home because Grossman couldn’t pick up the ball, and that tied the game.
That took Lopez off the hook, and Lopez even did Rick Renteria the favor of retiring the first two batters in the seventh. The start looked a lot like one from last year, in that he only got two swinging strikes, recorded zero strikeouts and needed an ominous mound visit. He survived the hard contact, though, only needing 83 pitches to come up one out short of seven.
Odorizzi, on the other hand, generated eight strikeouts with his high fastball approach, but he also threw 106 pitches over just 5⅓ innings. Despite disparate approaches, both starters ended up in the same place and turned the affair into a battle of the bullpens.
Renteria managed his well, getting a good inning from Luis Avilan, needing only Juan Minaya for a batter, then stitching together the ninth with Aaron Bummer and Nate Jones.
Until the last pitch of the ballgame, the Twins looked even better. Taylor Rogers, Ryan Pressly and Reed combined to strike out six of the first 10 batters they faced. The 11th was a problem.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 4, 2018
*Tim Anderson had problems all night whether swinging or taking, going down with a golden sombrero. The Sox struck out 14 times on the night to just three for Minnesota.
*Engel had an effective night at the bottom of the order. He generated his own run out of a walk, dropped a useful bunt, and came about four feet short of a homer to left.
*Narvaez had an ugly one behind the plate. The two passed balls were his fault, and he also hemorrhaged several strikes to relievers later in the game. He started because Welington Castillo was a late scratch with abdominal pain caused by a shot to the groin in the Royals series. That’s where this GIF in Thursday’s post stemmed from:
Record: 9-20 | Box score