MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the kind of sloppy game the Twins would rather forget, as a baserunning blunder cost them a run in the second, a wild pitch brought home the tying run in the sixth and the offense mostly scuffled in a 5-2 loss to the White Sox on
MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the kind of sloppy game the Twins would rather forget, as a baserunning blunder cost them a run in the second, a wild pitch brought home the tying run in the sixth and the offense mostly scuffled in a 5-2 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday night at Target Field.
Twins manager Paul Molitor wasn't pleased with his team's effort, as he noted the club could be in the midst of a three-game losing streak against Chicago if it weren't for Eduardo Escobar's go-ahead homer in the eighth inning of Tuesday's Game 1 win.
"I try to be positive most times, but that's just not good baseball," Molitor said. "They've outplayed us. We talked about it, they've run aggressively, they've made more plays defensively. We had one good inning, in the first game yesterday."
The Twins had a 2-1 lead going into the sixth, but right-hander Jake Odorizzi gave up back-to-back singles to open the inning, including a softly hit infield single from Jose Abreu that Ehire Adrianza couldn't handle at shortstop. Reliever Thomas Pressly tried to limit the damage, but after striking out Matt Davidson, gave up a single to load the bases.
A wild pitch on an 0-2 slider tied the game before Tim Anderson gave the White Sox the lead with a two-run single, going to second on the throw. Anderson stole third and scored on a well-executed suicide squeeze from Adam Engel, who was ruled out at first before it was overturned via replay.
"We didn't keep the force in order on the base hit," Molitor said. "And we let a guy steal third who's led their team in stolen-base attempts at third base the last two years."
The four-run outburst was enough for the White Sox, as the Twins had trouble against former Minnesota lefty Hector Santiago, who entered with a 5.10 ERA. Santiago went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
"We helped him," Molitor said. "He gave us opportunities. He's going to compete, I know him well enough to know that. But we had him 70 pitches after three innings, we made him work, we just didn't take advantage in that inning in particular to put a crooked number up.
The Twins got on the board in the second after Robbie Grossman singled and Mitch Garver doubled to open the frame. Adrianza followed with an RBI double off the base of the center-field wall, but Garver had a bad read on the play and was held at third. It turned out to be critical, as Garver was later caught in a rundown between third and home on a comebacker from James Dozier and Minnesota was unable to score again in the second.
"Not a good read," Molitor said. "Those are huge runs early."
After the White Sox tied the game on a two-out RBI single from Anderson in the fourth, the Twins took the lead in the bottom of the inning on Ryan LaMarre's RBI single to score Adrianza, who doubled with two outs.
The Twins put two runners on with two outs in the seventh, but lefty reliever Jace Fry struck out Max Kepler to end the potential rally. Reliever Trevor Hildenberger was forced to wriggle out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth after left fielder Eddie Rosario dropped a fly ball at the warning track with one out.
"I thought we had been playing pretty good recently, but it seems like there's that one game that puts a wrench into things," Odorizzi said. "So we need to scrap back and win the next game. We just have to be able to win series; I think that's what it boils down to."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Twins can't turn two: As the ball left Abreu's bat on an 0-2 slider, Odorizzi figured it was going to be an easy 6-4-3 double play. But with Adrianza shifted a few steps to his right, he couldn't make a play on the slow roller, allowing Abreu to reach, which knocked Odorizzi from the game and set up the four-run inning.
"The ball gets hit on the ground and I automatically thought it was a double play," Odorizzi said. "I threw the pitch that I wanted, got the result that I wanted; we just weren't in the right spot for that perfect situation. It's frustrating. I didn't know we were shifted so far in the hole."
After the Twins scored at least seven runs in four straight games and five of their last six entering the series, White Sox starters have held them in check through the first three games. Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Santiago have combined to allow four runs in 18 innings (2.00 ERA) against the Twins.
HE SAID IT
"Today was much more frustrating than the last one, just because I felt like I was in control for the most part of the game and it got away there in the sixth inning. I thought my stuff was considerably better just from a pure feel point than it was against the Indians." -- Odorizzi, who gave up seven runs over 3 2/3 innings in his previous start against Cleveland, and was charged with three runs in five-plus innings on Wednesday
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Twins won their lone challenge in the sixth on the overturned call with Engel. But the damage was done, as it brought home the fourth run of the inning.
Jose Berrios will start the series finale against the White Sox on Thursday at 12:10 p.m. CT at Target Field. Berrios (6-5, 3.86 ERA) has been pitching better recently, posting a 2.83 ERA over his last four starts. He's 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA against the White Sox this season. Chicago will counter with veteran right-hander James Shields (1-6, 4.48 ERA).
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.