CHICAGO -- A pair of fourth-inning White Sox defensive miscues certainly didn't decide the outcome of Minnesota's 3-1 victory Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.They simply illustrated one of the main differences in Minnesota's fourth straight win to start the season and the White Sox falling to 1-2.Robbie Grossman opened
CHICAGO -- A pair of fourth-inning White Sox defensive miscues certainly didn't decide the outcome of Minnesota's 3-1 victory Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
They simply illustrated one of the main differences in Minnesota's fourth straight win to start the season and the White Sox falling to 1-2.
Robbie Grossman opened the frame with a double off of White Sox starting, and losing, pitcher Derek Holland. He then moved to third on an errant pickoff throw into center from Holland.
There still was a chance for the White Sox to escape unscathed when Miguel Sano hit a fly ball down the right-field line, which appeared short enough to hold Grossman at third. Right fielder Avisail Garcia, second baseman Tyler Saladino and first baseman Jose Abreu all converged, but the ball hit off Garcia's glove and fell fair for his second missed catch error in two games and Grossman raced home.
According to Statcast™, Sano's fly ball had a 98 percent catch probability.
"Actually Avi got to the ball, it just deflected off of his mitt or he snow-coned it a little bit," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He ran a long ways and just dropped it."
"With the infield playing in, you look for those plays as a runner at third to potentially tag, even if an infielder makes the catch, because it's difficult to make the throw with the momentum," said Twins manager Paul Molitor, who added the wind blew the ball fair. "Garcia came in at the last minute and tried to make the play, but Robbie was able to take advantage."
Holland took responsibility for the pickoff play at second, mentioning he had put on a sign and thought Saladino had seen it. Saladino made an acrobatic lunge to corral the errant throw.
The White Sox defense made some solid plays behind Holland, with third baseman Todd Frazier actually taking a hit away from James Dozier on the first play of the game. But the fourth-inning errors directly produced Minnesota's first run, and a trio of great plays from Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton and right fielder Max Kepler probably saved three or four for the Twins.
So it's up to Renteria's crew to clean up those key miscues as they move forward.
"Learn from it, figure it out, talk about it afterwards and clear things up," Saladino said. "You can be frustrated about it, but it's also part of the game. You just move on to the next inning."
"We battled," Holland said. "You have to tip your hat to the Twins. They had a lot of great plays out there. They needed the big hit and they got it. We have to improve each time out."
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.