CHICAGO -- It was the kind of disheartening loss the Twins have suffered too many times during their inconsistent 2018 season.
The Twins saw a late two-run lead slip away with right-hander Lance Lynn exiting in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. The bullpen failed to protect the lead, which led to an 8-4 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night after the game was delayed an hour and 48 minutes by rain at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was the fourth loss in five games for Minnesota.
"There were some good things in the first half of the game and we just didn't control the last part -- some things that were out of our control and some things we had our hand in," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There were strange things, but obviously we didn't make a couple of plays that would have given us a better chance."
Lynn's defense was the culprit in the sixth, as he slipped while trying to field a grounder from Matt Davidson, allowing him to reach on an infield single. After a few warmup pitches from Lynn to make sure he wasn't injured, Leury Garcia followed with a grounder that hit off Lynn's glove, ruining any chance for a double play and allowing Garcia to reach. After Kevan Smith singled, the Twins went to right-hander Thomas Pressly with the bases loaded, leaving a frustrated Lynn to head back to the dugout.
"You give up three hits and nothing's hard, and then you get taken out of the inning and don't get a chance to finish it, especially with 8-9 [in the batting order] up," Lynn said. "It's frustrating, especially with the way things had been going all night. I had eight strikeouts in five and you've got 8-9 up, bases are loaded, even though it's been kind of a funky inning, you want to have that chance. But with the way things had unfolded that inning, you get it. We're trying to win the game."
The decision didn't work, as Pressly promptly walked Tim Anderson to bring home a run. But Minnesota nearly escaped the jam with lefty Taylor Rogers a strike away from ending the inning, only to give up a go-ahead two-run single to Yolmer Sanchez. All three runs were charged to Lynn, who surrendered five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts -- including the 1,000th of his career -- to fall to 5-6 with a 4.81 ERA this season.
"Rogers did a good job to get a popup and he was one pitch away," Molitor said. "Unfortunately, when you've got a full count and the bases loaded, you've got to throw it over and that was probably the biggest hit for them."
It continued to unravel for the Twins with Avisail Garcia connecting on a solo homer off Alan Busenitz in the seventh, before the White Sox again loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth after an error from second baseman James Dozier. Sanchez smacked an RBI single, before Matt Belisle walked Jose Abreu to bring home another run.
Shortstop Ehire Adrianza paced the offense for the Twins, hitting a solo homer in the second and ripping an RBI single as part of a two-run fifth inning against White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. Dozier also hit a solo homer in the second, while Joe Mauer added a sacrifice fly in the fifth. But the last 15 batters the Twins sent to the plate were retired in order.
"We didn't do a ton," Molitor said. "Hit a couple of home runs early. It was good to see Brian get one. And Adrianza keeps testing center field and finally put one out. We put a little something together to move back ahead. But not a lot of opportunities late. Some of the approaches at different times, you're kind of not sure what guys are trying to do. But we just didn't give ourselves much of a chance."
"Adrianza had one slip out of his hands a little bit and then to follow up with the triple," Molitor said. "[Lynn] minimized there. I thought he did the best that he could."
Lynn recorded career strikeout No. 1,000 with his strikeout of Abreu in the fifth inning. He's the only active Twins pitcher who has reached that milestone, although injured right-hander Ervin Santana has registered 1,905 strikeouts in his career. Lynn is 44th among active players in strikeouts, trailing former Twins right-hander Phil Hughes (1,027).
HE SAID IT
"That's just how things are going right now, I guess. It was a weird inning. I don't even know how to explain it. I should have made both plays. They're both errors -- 100 percent. Like, tailor-made outs." -- Lynn, on the two singles to open the sixth
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (2-5, 3.25 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins in the second game of the series against the White Sox on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Gibson has a 1.93 ERA over his last five starts and held the Red Sox to two runs over six innings in a no-decision in his last time out. The White Sox will start veteran right-hander James Shields (2-9, 4.59 ERA).