The White Sox took a very favorable matchup and immediately put onlookers in a state of worry before finally shaking loose the cobwebs and properly pummeling the Twins to continue their unblemished record against them, moving to 5-0 on the year.
1. Chris Sale‘s first inning held something it hasn’t in others this season: a fastball reaching 97 miles per hour with regularity, though it appeared for a moment to come at the cost of control. After recording two outs, Sale surrendered consecutive hits to Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe before sandwiching a walk between two hit batsmen, thus pushing two runs across. From there, the flip switched, and Sale became Sale. He allowed just one more hit the rest of the way en route to retiring 19 of his final 20 batters faced. Fans seated in the K-Zone got to wiggle their cardboard K’s a sufficient amount as the Sox ace struck out nine hitters on the night.
2. The offense had some trouble converting opportunities early, leaving the bases loaded twice in the first four innings. They were able to manage a couple runs over that span, including a Todd Frazier home run in the third, ending an 0-for-20 stretch for the third baseman. When the seventh inning rolled around, a familiar magic appeared. The Sox managed to capitalize on a couple of walks and an Avisail Garcia hit by pitch to score three runs in the inning and extend their lead to four runs.
3. Matt Albers, eyeing a new streak, pitched a scoreless inning and with the lead having been stretched to five in the bottom half of the 8th, Zach Duke came on to close things out and allow David Robertson another day of rest — he has not pitched since Tuesday.
4. The White Sox seventh innings are a funny thing. They are now tied with the Pirates for the most seventh inning runs in baseball, while being a team that has only recently scratched their way to being about average in terms of overall run production.
5. The Twins have been paying a price beyond losses. In addition to Brian Dozier missing the series so far as he deals with a hamstring issue, they lost Byung Ho Park after getting hit in the knee by a Chris Sale slider he never fully read, and Kurt Suzuki took a rough foul ball off the mask and was ultimately removed from the game as well. There’s one more game in the series, and everybody is hopeful that they’ll have enough players to complete it.
Team Record: 21-10
Next game is Sunday vs. Minnesota at 1:10 p.m. CT on CSN
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