Sunday was going to be a tough test on multiple levels for the White Sox. For starters, Dylan Covey had to figure out how to keep the league’s best offense from scoring. Plus, it was Seby Zavala making the first start of his major league career. An arduous task in having to call a game to keep the Twins hitters off-balance and then make good contact against Jake Odorizzi.
Scoreless into the third inning, Zavala’s first at-bat came with Yolmer Sanchez on first base after he walked. Ahead quickly in the count 2-0, Odorizzi challenged the rookie on three straight fastballs in the zone. Zavala swung and missed twice for the second consecutive strikeout of his career. The day wouldn’t get better for Zavala.
The Sox did have an excellent scoring opportunity after Charlie Tilson singled to right field for the game’s first base hit putting runners on first and second base. Yoan Moncada couldn’t convert as he swung through Odorizzi’s 94-mph fastball ending the threat.
Zavala’s first attempt to catch a base stealer was a tough test with Byron Buxton on base after singling to shallow right field. A quick transition after catching the pitch, Zavala’s air-mailed the throw into center field which allowed Buxton to advance another 90 feet.
With Covey in a tight spot, Max Kepler hit a hard line drive to center field that would have easily scored Buxton on a sacrifice fly, but Tilson’s defensive problems from yesterday continued. Misreading the fly ball by moving in instead of stepping back, Kepler’s liner went over Tilson’s head for an RBI double.
Up 1-0, and Covey facing the lineup for a second time, with runners on first and second Eddie Rosario crushed a two-seam fastball for a three-run homer, his 16th of the season, and the Twins were up 4-0.
Outside of that one bad pitch, Covey was pretty good. Over six innings of work, Covey allowed the four runs but on only three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
White Sox offense had a prime opportunity to cut the deficit in the seventh inning. After Jose Abreu leads it off with a walk Yonder Alonso hit his fifth double of 2019, and with no outs, the Sox had runners in scoring position.
Eloy Jimenez made an excellent attempt to drive in a run, but his liner was hit right at Kepler preventing Abreu from tagging up. Jose Rondon struck out on a high fastball, and Yolmer Sanchez flew out to the left field as the Sox came up empty.
Making things worse, the Twins put up another crooked number when Kepler took Josh Osich to deep center field for a three-run homer, his 12th of 2019, and the Twins had a 7-0 lead.
Zavala’s other three at-bats resulted in strikeouts as he is having a difficult time making contact with 94-95 mph heat in the zone. Not the best of major league debuts going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a throwing error in his first exposure in the majors.
- The White Sox were outscored 26-5 in the three game sweep.
- Charlie Tilson went 2-for-4 as he tries to balance his defensive shortcomings with the bat.
- Yoan Moncada went 1-for-4 extending his current hitting streak to five games.