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Shields flirts with no-no, but Sox fall late to Twins

Veteran righty carries no-hitter into 7th in series finale
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- James Shields carried a perfect game into the sixth and a no-hitter into the seventh against the Twins on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, but the veteran righty finished with a no-decision in the White Sox 5-3 loss during the series finale of a four-game set.

The Twins scored three runs off Shields and reliever Luis Avilan in the seventh, first erasing the no-hitter via Eduardo Escobar's one-out single to right-center, and then taking the lead on Logan Morrison's two-out double to right in a lefty-lefty battle with Avilan. The comeback rally opened with Brian Dozier's leadoff walk.

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CHICAGO -- James Shields carried a perfect game into the sixth and a no-hitter into the seventh against the Twins on Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, but the veteran righty finished with a no-decision in the White Sox 5-3 loss during the series finale of a four-game set.

The Twins scored three runs off Shields and reliever Luis Avilan in the seventh, first erasing the no-hitter via Eduardo Escobar's one-out single to right-center, and then taking the lead on Logan Morrison's two-out double to right in a lefty-lefty battle with Avilan. The comeback rally opened with Brian Dozier's leadoff walk.

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"I wasn't thinking about it really until the end there," said Shields of the perfect game and no-hitter possibilities. "At the end of the day, we had a two-run lead and we gave it up. It was a good effort, but we came up short."

"Once it went into the seventh inning, we're trying to pitch to get it. I was pretty excited," White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez said. "But it's only one pitch and all that got out of hand when we're trying to do it."

Video: MIN@CWS: Shields has no-hit bid end in the 7th inning

Shields, who has allowed four runs on four hits over his last 12 2/3 innings, retired the first 16 Minnesota hitters before Ehire Adrianza drew a walk with one out in the sixth. Shields also went to a 3-1 count to Joe Mauer with Adrianza on second and two outs in the frame, but Mauer popped weakly to third baseman Yolmer Sanchez. Shields needed just 46 pitches to get through four and 52 through five, finishing with two walks, five strikeouts and three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Shields' changeup was "filthy," as Narvaez pointed out. According to Statcast™, Shields picked up six swinging strikes and two called strikes off the change.

Minnesota had four hard-hit balls off of Shields through the first six innings, but the two closest to a hit came in the fourth. Mauer opened with a shot to second played by Jose Rondon with a slight dive on a one-hop to his left. Dozier followed with a line drive to Sanchez, who made the catch with a small jump off the ground.

Video: MIN@CWS: Rondon picks a short-hop, gets out at first

Prior to Shields' effort, Jose Quintana had the longest, most recent no-hit bid for the White Sox, going 6 1/3 innings vs. Boston on May 21, 2013. It was the second-longest no-hit bit of Shields' career, following his seven no-hit innings against the Royals on Aug. 2, 2009.

"Everybody was just watching him do his thing. Obviously cheering him on. He has a lot of respect from the guys in there," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Shields. "Just him executing. He doesn't get flustered or out of sorts.

Video: MIN@CWS: Shields, Renteria on the righty's no-hit bid

"He was the experienced, long-term Major League pitcher that knows what he's doing, feels confident in what he's got going and executes it. I'm sure they all enjoyed watching it."

Kyle Gibson matched Shields for most of Sunday's contest, allowing single runs in the third, sixth and seventh over 6 2/3 innings. Adam Engel doubled and eventually scored on a two-out wild pitch in the third, while Sanchez doubled and came home on Matt Davidson's sacrifice fly to right in the sixth. Leury Garcia's single to right off of reliever Zach Duke scored Rondon to tie the game in the seventh.

Video: MIN@CWS: Leury lines game-tying RBI single in the 7th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tricky Nicky: With the Twins threatening to grab control with two outs in the eighth, Escobar came to bat against Aaron Bummer. Escobar has been a thorn in the White Sox side all series, cranking two home runs and driving in four while also breaking up Shields' no-hit attempt. He drove a fly ball to left field, where Nicky Delmonico -- who just started playing outfield last season -- raced back to the warning track. Delmonico made an impressive leaping catch to save at least one run.

Video: MIN@CWS: Delmonico robs Escobar with a leaping grab

Miscues of the eighth: Prior to Delmonico's grab, the Twins took the lead thanks to a couple White Sox mistakes. On a potential double-play ball off the bat of Dozier with one out, Tim Anderson double-clutched while trying to flip to second, allowing Mauer to advance to third on an error charged to Rondon. Then, Max Kepler hit a ground ball to Sanchez, who threw to first and didn't look back Mauer to third base. Mauer scampered home after Sanchez's throw, giving the Twins a lead they would not relinquish.

"I don't think [Anderson] was able to get the ball out as cleanly and as quickly as he wanted to," Renteria said. "He ended up showing both glove and hand, which is very difficult. You're always trying to clear the glove so you can see the ball. He kept trying to get it out and hearing the command, 'Two, two, two,' so he tried to get it out, but obviously Jose couldn't see it."

Video: MIN@CWS: Kepler plates go-ahead run on groundout

SOUND SMART
The White Sox are 3-13 at home and have lost five consecutive series at Guaranteed Rate Field to begin the season. That streak is the second longest in franchise history (two-plus games per series) to open a season, with the 1971 White Sox losing their first six home series.

HE SAID IT
"No, not me. I'm pretty chatty in the dugout." -- Shields, on whether teammates stayed away from him while pursuing the perfect game and no-hitter

UP NEXT
The White Sox are off Monday, but return to action with a two-game Interleague set with the Pirates beginning at 7:10 p.m. CT Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lucas Giolito (1-4, 7.03 ERA) will start for Chicago in his first career appearance against Pittsburgh. The White Sox are 0-2 in Interleague play thus far, while the Pirates, who send Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.01 ERA), are 6-2.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, James Shields