It only took two innings for the Chicago White Sox offense to give JA Happ his worst start of the season. After allowing just six runs in five starts, the White Sox hung nine on Happ in another win against their division rival.
Minnesota struck first like the previous night. Nelson Cruz was the only Twins hitter not to ground out in the first inning. He smoked a solo home run for 423 feet to give the Twins an early 1-0 lead.
Tim Anderson got the offense started with a leadoff single in the bottom half but was wiped away on Nick Madrigal’s double play. That ended up costly because Yoan Moncada doubled down the right-field line, and Jose Abreu tripled to center field. Tied 1-1 instead of having the lead, Mercedes fixed that with his two-strike approach. Lining a single through the infield to score Abreu and the Sox were ahead, 2-1. In one inning, the Sox already matched season highs in runs and hits allowed by Happ.
Billy Hamilton pushed that margin to a three-run lead in the second inning. After Andrew Vaughn walked, Hamilton smoked a liner splitting the left and center field gap. Thanks to his speed, Hamilton made the gapper into an RBI triple. When Happ bounced a pitch to Danny Mendick, Hamilton hurried down the line for some WILD PITCH OFFENSE.
Up 4-1, Keuchel ran into trouble in the third inning. Luis Arraez reached on an infield single, and Kyle Garlick rang a double off the center-field wall. Josh Donaldson would drive both in with a two-run single to right field, and suddenly the Twins had a rally stew cooking.
Nelson Cruz was next, and unlike his last at-bat, Keuchel was able to produce a grounder. Madrigal made the clean toss to Anderson for the 4-6-3 double play, and the White Sox held on to the lead.
Andrew Vaughn gave the Sox extra cushion in the fourth inning. Following a walk to Yasmani Grandal, Vaughn unloaded on a no-doubter to center field for his career home run. A two-run shot put the Sox ahead 6-3.
The offensive barrage continued as a five-run fourth inning and three-run fifth inning made it 12-3. For the first time since 2012, the White Sox scored nine or more runs in four straight games.
Even in a blowout, there is some concern regarding Evan Marshall, who had a rough night in relief. Not recording an out, Marshall was removed after walking two and allowing a hit. Codi Heuer and Jose Ruiz got the White Sox to the ninth inning, but the Sox could use a bounce back from Marshall.
What also shouldn’t be forgotten from the blowout was Jose Abreu’s defense. If the requirement in winning a Gold Glove is to submit a highlight reel, Abreu should send this game. Abreu had maybe his best defensive night ever, whether it was turning two, or diving stops, or the terrific catch over his shoulder.
Then there was Billy Hamilton having one of his best nights hitting. Second time in his career, Hamilton collected four hits.
- Keuchel’s final line was 5.2 IP 8 H 6 ER 1 BB 1 K. His season ERA is 4.53
- Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, and Billy Hamilton scored three runs apiece.
- Danny Mendick was the only White Sox hitter who didn’t record a hit.
Record: 21-13 | Box Score | StatCast
I remember that Tim Anderson liked a Tweet that announced the signing of Happ by the Twins.
At the start of the season, I was in the market for a player t-shirt but was torn between TA and Robert. I used TA liking that Tweet as my tiebreaker.
>Don’t watch a Carlos Rodon Start
>He throws a no-hitter
>Don’t watch a random Dallas Keuchel start
>Billy Hamilton gets 4 hits
>Andrew Vaughn gets his first Homer
>Abreu becomes a gold glover
Maybe I should just stop watching White Sox games.
On the one hand, I wish the Sox would have snagged Nelson Cruz in free agency if only to not have him continue to absolutely rake against the Sox. On the other, if we signed him we probably wouldn’t have “found” Yermin’s bat. Tough call, but I’m liking how it turned out.
Marshall and Foster have been terrible this year. Up12-3, we should NOT have to use Heuer and Ruiz in consecutive games. At least Kopech is available for a potential sweep of the Twins. Man that felt good to write.
I thought Kopech is going to start one of the DH games on Friday.
Credit to Cruz for still being able to hit well into his 40’s, but he’s the type of player the Sox just need to stay away from moving forward, and hopefully they learned that lesson from the Encarnacion signing.
Beating up on the Twins is good old fashioned family fun
Marshall needs to get sent down. He can’t get anyone out now. And Ruiz is proving that he needs to get more high leverage situations. Otherwise, this team is firing on all cylinders now. 6-1 since Robert went down, with solid production from his replacements! They are just so much fun to watch right now. Don’t stop now boys!!
I’ll confess — I hadn’t realized how Robert was holding the team back ..
It’s great to see that this team wasn’t discouraged after losing such a key piece as Robert. Championship team pick up the slack- something the White Sox are doing in spades right now. It’s next man up without missing a beat.
I like how our lineup continuously puts the ball in play. Even the usually solid Twins make some bad plays in the field when you consistently apply the pressure.