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Banuelos can't overcome rough day in outfield 

Wind plays havoc with fly ball; cutoff men missed in three-run fourth
@scottmerkin
May 25, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – There was no finger pointing by the White Sox following an 8-1 loss to American League Central-leading Minnesota Saturday afternoon at Target Field. That is, unless you factor in the fingers being pointed back at themselves over miscues from a rough afternoon of baseball. • Box score Let’s

MINNEAPOLIS – There was no finger pointing by the White Sox following an 8-1 loss to American League Central-leading Minnesota Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

That is, unless you factor in the fingers being pointed back at themselves over miscues from a rough afternoon of baseball.

Box score

Let’s start with right fielder Charlie Tilson, who has been somewhat of a revelation since rejoining the White Sox on May 6. In the first inning, with two outs and Jonathan Schoop on second and Eddie Rosario on first, C.J. Cron lofted a 3-0 pitch from Manny Banuelos into right-center for what looked to be the final out.

In fact, Statcast lists Cron’s expected batting average on that play at a miniscule .010. But with Tilson batting the 14 mph wind and the ball twisting back away from him, it eventually fell in and allowed both runners to score for a 2-0 Twins advantage.

It was a momentum-changing moment, followed by no excuses from Tilson postgame.

“I have to make that play,” Tilson said. “We knew going into the game the ball is moving a lot. As outfielders, we know we have to keep our feet moving.

“Unfortunately, I just got caught in a bad position and couldn’t make up. Manny was giving a good effort, especially in that first inning, and kind of let him down there. That one is on me. I’ll do better and we’ll move forward.”

Banuelos, who had been out of action since May 14 with a left shoulder strain, allowed five runs on five hits over four innings, walking three and striking out four. Those numbers don’t indicate a decent afternoon where the southpaw recorded 12 swinging strikes per Statcast among his 80 pitches.

Minnesota scored three in the fourth when Schoop walked to open the frame and moved to second on Rosario’s double. Rosario’s double was a high fly ball down the right-field line, with Tilson having a lot of ground to cover before colliding with Yolmer Sanchez via a slide as the ball fell in fair territory. Cron delivered the big hit with a two-run single to left.

Much like Tilson, Banuelos addressed his shortcomings without pointing to what could have been defensively.

“He did his best and the wind was crazy today, I understand that,” Banuelos said. “There are games when they make great plays for us. When that happens, we try to battle and get out of there.

“Physically it feels good. But the game is about the results. I’m not happy with it. The very poor thing was the walks. If I eliminated those walks, I’m not going to give up those runs. I have to work on that. Command my fastball.”

Chicago’s offense managed a Jose Abreu home run leading off the fourth against Kyle Gibson, a ball hit so far that it was tough to identify where it landed, but nothing more over his seven innings. This loss marked Chicago’s sixth straight at Target Field and dropped them to 5-15 in that venue since April 2017, with the South Siders being outscored, 19-5, over the first two games of this series.

Plenty of fault was there to pass around Saturday, with Eloy Jimenez and Leury Garcia also missing cutoff men on somewhat ill-advised throws home during that three-run fourth, allowing the hitter to take an extra base. But Renteria addressed the issues in-game with all three outfielders.

“If I can count on my hand the number of times we've had days like that, they have been few and far between in the last two months,” Renteria said. “Nonetheless does it irritate? Not only myself, I think it irritates them because they realize after the fact, ‘Son of a gun, I should have probably done X.’

“We talked about it a little bit in the dugout. I know most people think we don't address things, but we address pretty much everything. I'm sure we'll have a better attempt at that the next time.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.