Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The White Sox (45-56), after dropping the first two games to the 1st-place Minnesota Twins (63-40) took the field for the third of a four-game series Saturday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Sox rookie Dylan Cease got the loss in Friday’s contest after a five-run 2nd inning proved to be the difference in a 6-2 defeat. Cease is now 1-3 with a 6.86 ERA in 21 innings in his big league career.
Skipper Rick Renteria said of Cease, “He’ll get through these little hiccups. When you’re bringing up young players to the big leagues that have talent, you hope the transition is flawless and they cruise through and everything is nice and hunky-dory, but some of them are going to get these hiccups. They’re going to learn from them. They’re going to grow and continue to get better, and he’s going to be one of those guys.”
The Sox’ only offense was provided on an Adam Engel two-run homer in the 3rd for his 2nd long-ball of the season. The Twins’ Nelson Cruz hit his fourth home run of the series in the 7th for his 26th of the year.
The Sox sent Ivan Nova (5-9 5.49) to the mound to take on Martin Perez (8-3 4.37).
The Southsiders got on the board first. With one out in the 2nd, back-to-back one-out singles by Jose Rondon and Yolmer Sanchez put runners on 1st and 3rd. Adam Engel stepped to the plate and hit a hot shot to third baseman Adam Sano, who made a diving stop but his throw to the plate was wide to the 1st base side of home, allowing Rondon to score and give the Sox an early 1-0 lead.
In the top of the 3rd, with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Jorge Polanco hit a pop-up to shallow left field that was misplayed by Yoan Moncada allowing Byron Buxton to score to even things up at one run apiece. Moncada was charged with an error on the play.
In the bottom half of the 3rd, the Sox got things going. Jose Abreu drilled a single to left-center following a leadoff double by Yoan Moncada. With one out and runners on 1st and 3rd, Wellington Castillo hit a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield just in front of the 400-foot mark, driving in Moncada to make it a 2-1 ballgame in favor of the Sox.
In the 5th, Yoan Moncada pummeled an 0-1 Perez changeup 432-feet to the rightfield side of the shrub in center for his 20th home run of the season and increase the Southsiders lead 3-1.
Sox starter Ivan Nova looked impressive against a powerful Twins lineup and left the game after six innings only allowing one run on 2 hits, striking out 4 and walking one.
The Southsiders added another run in the 7th. After Leury Garcia buried a double into the rightfield corner to start the inning, Yoan Moncada hit a double to left-center that short-hopped the wall to bring in Garcia and the Sox’ lead to 4-1.
Moncada went 3-4 on the night and fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Chicago added some insurance in the 8th. After Yolmer Sanchez reached base on a fielding error that enabled him to reach 2nd, Adam Engel ripped an RBI-single to center to push another run across the plate and give the Sox a commanding 5-1 lead heading into the 9th.
With closer Alex Colome in the game in a non-save situation, slammed the door on the Twins to give the Southsiders the 5-1 victory and end their four-game losing streak.
Ivan Nova picks up his 6th win of the season and Martin Perez suffered the loss for the Twins.
The Sox will try to even up the four-game set in the series finalé which takes place Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM with Dylan Covey (1-6 6.04) on the rubber vs. Kyle Gibson (9-4 4.24).
- The White Sox are now 34-1 when leading after six innings, 36-1 when leading after seven, and 35-0 when leading after eight.
IN WHITE SOX NEWS:
- Shortstop Tim Anderson, who began a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday, played in his third consecutive game Friday and played all nine innings. There’s a good chance that Anderson will return to the Sox’ lineup by the end of this homestand. Anderson is hitting .385 with 3 RBI in three games with the Knights.
- Rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez has been working to transition himself back into the Chicago lineup since injuring the ulnar nerve in his right elbow on July 16. He’s been throwing to bases, hitting in the cage as well as taking on-field batting practice. There have been hints that he could possibly be back for Tuesday’s series opener against the New York Mets. “We’ll see how he’s feeling at the end of the day. Usually, you don’t feel anything in the moment. You feel it later,” said Rick Renteria. After taking some batting practice prior to Saturday’s game, Jimenez said, “Everything feels pretty good, pretty normal. Now it’s just maybe a couple more days and be back on the field.”