Shuck N thrive: No. 9 hitter lifts White Sox over Twins
J.B. Shuck's eighth-inning single, his third hit of the day, scored Avisail Garciawith the game-winning run in a 6-5 White Sox victory over the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday. The White Sox won a third straight series for the first time this season, and they improved to 8-1 against the last-place Twins.
"It's understanding I'm going to get some at-bats, so I can relax a little bit and get back to putting together good at-bats, and hopefully the results start coming," Shuck said. "We kept battling and the offense continued to fight, and we got a run where we needed to, another series win."
Fernando Abad took the loss. He retired the first two hitters in the eighth without issue, but then walked Garcia and Jason Coats, Chicago's seventh and eighth hitters in the lineup.David Robertson earned the save for the White Sox, converting his 11th straight and 15th in his last 16 attempts.
Carlos Rodon retired the first 11 Twins hitters he faced before Robbie Grossman andBrian Dozier launched back-to-back homers in the fourth inning. Rodon pitched a perfect fifth, but the Twins scored two in the sixth on three hits and chased Rodon from the game. The lefty finished with a no-decision, allowing the four runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking one.
"He started getting stuff over the middle of the plate," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Rodon. "This team [Minnesota], they battle, they've always done that. They started squaring some stuff up on him, the quick two homers. After that, they started putting some good at-bats together on him."
The White Sox built up a 5-2 lead against Twins starter Tommy Milone by scoring one run in the second, one in the third and three in the fourth. Garcia and Matt Davidson each delivered run-scoring hits, marking the first hit and RBI for Davidson with the White Sox. Davidson was pinch-hit for by Coats in the sixth, leaving with what was eventually diagnosed as a fracture in his right foot.
Minnesota tied the game in the seventh on Max Kepler's double against reliever Zach Duke, and Eduardo Nunez's two-out single against Nate Jones. Abad, who hadn't pitched since June 22 because of back stiffness, just couldn't keep Chicago from re-taking the lead in the eighth.
"He got a couple guys 2-0 and was able to get a couple outs, but the pattern ended up biting him with the back-to-back walks there," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Shuck had a good day. He hasn't had a lot of at-bats against left-handed pitching, but was able to dump that one out into left field."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mr. Everything:Tim Anderson singled in each of his first two trips to the plate, giving him 10 multihit games in his first 19 he's played at the Major League level. Anderson also made a sterling defensive play with one out in the second, throwing out Trevor Plouffe from about five or six feet into the outfield grass with a perfect one-hop throw to first. And for good measure, Anderson drew career walk No. 1 in the fourth in his 86th plate appearance overall.
"I didn't know what to expect, how to come in, what my role was," Anderson said. "Now I feel real comfortable and get off to a jump start, which is good." More >
Back-to-back jacks: After watching Rodon buzz through the first 11 hitters he faced, the Twins struck back with the back-to-back homers from Grossman and Dozier in the fourth, tying the game at 2. It was the sixth time the Twins have put together back-to-back home runs this season, with the previous time 12 days earlier against the Yankees at Target Field.
"We knew that his slider's his best pitch," Dozier said of Rodon. "He throws it really hard, and he doesn't throw it for strikes. It's always down. I think the first time through the lineup, we started seeing that, a different arm angle or whatever it was, and more guys got comfortable. He started laying off that and we started squaring more balls up. But it took us the first round through the lineup."
Dozier's blast extended his hitting streak to 12 games, a new career high, and pushed his franchise record for consecutive games with an extra-base hit to 11, a mark he set Wednesday with a double.
One still is the loneliest number:Todd Frazier's homer in the second tied him for the Major League lead with Mark Trumbo at 23. It also stood as the White Sox 14th straight solo homer, proving to be the second-longest such streak in franchise history, according to STATS LLC. The White Sox hit 15 straight solo homers from Sept. 2-25, 1965.
What a relief: Right-hander Neil Ramirez gave the Twins 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, which they needed after Milone allowed five runs in just 3 1/3 innings, including three runs on four hits in the fourth. Ramirez took over for Milone in the fourth with the bases loaded, one out and the Twins trailing, 5-2. He promptly got Jose Abreu to hit into an inning-ending double play to prevent the White Sox from building a bigger lead. The Twins then added two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie it at 5.
"There were some positives today," Molitor said. "Neil has pitched well. He came in and gave us 2 2/3 and a big double-play ball. Neil's done a nice job when we've called upon him, since he's been here."
QUOTABLE "Nobody has really done anything different. It's just that baseball is a tough sport and we were on the losing end of it for a little bit and now we're trying to turn it around and get back on top of the division." -- Robertson
"He says he feels fine. I didn't know he went to school to be a doctor, so we're going to let the doctors handle that. He's very good at self-evaluation. He says he's close." -- Ventura, onMelky Cabrera, who missed the last two games of the Twins series with a sore right wrist
MANAGER'S CHALLENGE Shuck was ruled out at second on a stolen-base attempt that stood as the last out of the sixth. Ventura challenged the call at second, but after review, umpires ruled that the call stood. Shuck was out and the White Sox lost their challenge.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins:Ervin Santana (2-7, 4.64 ERA) will start the opener of a series against the Rangers on Friday at Target Field at 7:10 p.m. CT. Santana took a no-decision in his last start (last Friday), holding the Yankees to just one run in five innings. Santana has made 30 starts against the Rangers, his most against any opponent, and is 13-11 with a 5.67 ERA in those outings.
White Sox:Miguel Gonzalez (1-3, 5.17 ERA) opens a three-game series against the red-hot Astros Friday night in Houston at 7:10 p.m. CT. Gonzalez has gone 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA lifetime against the Astros, and 1-2 with a 2.79 ERA in three career starts at Minute Maid Park.