CHICAGO -- The White Sox ended a seven-game losing streak against the Twins via their 6-4 victory Friday night before 28,218 at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was their second straight victory and second straight impressive effort against one of baseball’s best, after coming from behind to beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday.
They ended that Minnesota losing streak without shortstop Tim Anderson and without third baseman Yoan Moncada in the lineup and with Ross Detwiler on the mound for his White Sox debut, making his first Major League start since Sept. 18, 2016, when he earned the win for Oakland at Texas. Detwiler, who became the 11th pitcher to start for the White Sox this season (including two bullpen games), limited one of baseball’s top offenses to two runs on six hits over five innings.
“Again, that’s why you play the game,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “These guys know that it’s a very good ballclub over there. We have to stay within ourselves. Every club that can pitch gives themselves a chance. Our guys did a nice job of being able to do that, keep us in the game and get it finished, close it out.”
“This was awesome. Especially to do it here in Chicago. It just feels great to be here,” said Detwiler, who threw 73 pitches after throwing 48 pitches in a start for Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. “It's been 12 or 13 years. Been back to the Minors a little bit, Indy ball. It's been a tough road, but we're here.”
Detwiler, 33, posted a 3.98 ERA for Charlotte this season after being signed to a Minor League deal on May 9. He also had a 2.81 ERA in three starts for the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League.
Catcher James McCann and Detwiler didn’t meet until Friday. But they were still able to work well together and then get help from six relievers to secure the win.
“I used the defense pretty well and McCann's a pretty damn good catcher,” Detwiler said. “He's never seen me before, and for him to work this well with me the first time really says something about him.”
“You talk to the guy. We had a really good conversation pregame about our gameplan,” McCann said. “The way he executed, that's the most important part. You can talk and get to know someone as much as you want, but if the guy doesn't come out and execute, it doesn't work. He executed extremely well and gave us a solid outing.”
McCann’s nine home runs represent one more than he hit in all of 2018. Renteria described his catcher postgame as one of the team’s most valuable players in the season’s first half.
“It's a story of perseverance,” McCann said. “It's a never-give-in, never-quit attitude.”
“I’m glad he’s with us and I’m glad he becomes a part of a lot of those kids that are in there and doing a nice job and starting to shine a little,” Renteria said. “He’s doing a very nice job.”
Those seven straight White Sox losses to Minnesota all came at Target Field, including a three-game sweep there from May 24-26. The White Sox will be looking Saturday at taking two straight from the American League Central leaders, albeit still fighting through being shorthanded.
“Just the attitude in the clubhouse of ‘next man up,’” McCann said. “Knowing that every day, it's the whole team that's got to step out there and perform. One day, if you don't have one guy, the rest of us step up and that's the recipe for a winning baseball club.”