You’d never know from the result of this game that the White Sox had a pitching emergency on their hands.
You’d also never know from the result of this game that the White Sox have never had an interest in the opener.
While it was a bullpen game by definition, it was the club’s closest flirtation with the opener to date — one inning of Iván Nova on his bullpen day, followed by a lefty going more than inning — and it worked better than any of their planned pitching performances this road trip. Eight White Sox pitchers combined to hold the Twins to one run on three hits and five walks.
Nova pitched around two walks for a scoreless inning, and he, Jace Fry and Carson Fulmer kept the Twins hitless through five.
The Twins finally canceled the postgame show when Jorge Polanco singled off Josh Osich with one out in the sixth. Jimmy Cordero couldn’t strand him, as Polanco moved to second on a walk when Eddie Rosario’s single shot off the glove of a diving Yolmer Sánchez. Cordero ended up loading the bases, but got a groundout to end the inning, and resumed the scorelessness by getting the first two outs of the seventh. The high-leverage guys — Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall and Alex Colome — survived hard contact and faced the minimum to close it out.
The White Sox never trailed thanks to an offense that did enough.
The team’s hottest hitters put the first two on the board. In the second, Eloy Jiménez followed Yoan Moncada’s double off Jake Odorizzi with an RBI single for the 1-0 lead. In the sixth, Moncada’s second double of the game scored Tim Anderson from first, which came in handy when Cordero stumbled in the bottom of the inning.
Zack Collins then provided insurance with a solo shot off Brusdar Graterol just over the wall in center for his second homer in as many days.
*The defense showed up for Marshall after he entered with one out in the eighth. Anderson made a nice pick backing up on a sharp one-hopper by Nelson Cruz for a key out in the eighth. When Rosario followed with a deep drive that bounced off the wall despite Leury García’s best effort, Adam Engel was there to back him up and made an on-target throw to Moncada, who completed the tremendous assist with a diving tag.
*Collins let a couple of catchable pitches get past him — a Nóva sinker in the dirt for a not-wild wild pitch, and a Jimmy Cordero outfield fastball for a passed ball. That said, he framed OK, which is no small feat in a game featuring eight White Sox pitchers.
*Daniel Palka went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but he did pull a ball in the air for the first time since March.
*The White Sox won the game without winning the strike zone. Twins pitchers struck out 14 against one walk, while White Sox pitchers had five apiece.
*The Sox wrapped up the season series with Minnesota 6-13. It could’ve been worse.