Minnesota comes up short again, as Chicago takes series

Published 8:15 am Friday, July 1, 2016

The Twins are in the middle of the worst season in their Minnesota history, and there’s no relief in sight.

J.B. Shuck’s two-out single drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning, Todd Frazier hit his 23rd home run and the White Sox beat Twins 6-5 Thursday. Minnesota overcame early 2-0 and 5-2 deficits, but it wasn’t enough to prevent their major league-high 53rd loss of the season.

The Twins were also victimized by poor base running as Robbie Grossman was thrown out at third and Eduardo Nunez was caught off first.

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“We talk with the guys about controlling your emotions,” manager Paul Molitor said. “Not letting whatever situation you’re involved with overwhelming you to the point that you lose clarity about what’s going on.”

Fernando Abad (1-2), in his first appearance in eight days because of a stiff back, got the first two batters in the eighth before consecutive walks to slumping Avisail Garcia and .063-hitting Jason Coats. Shuck followed with his career high-tying third hit of the game.

Nate Jones (4-2) allowed a hit while getting four outs and David Robertson worked around a single in the ninth for his 21st save in 23 tries. The White Sox won their third straight series for the first time this season.

Tim Anderson added three hits as Chicago improved to 39-38.

“We’re playing better,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We’re getting some pitching, we’re swinging the bats.”

Brian Dozier homered and drove in two runs and Nunez had RBI singles in the sixth and seventh innings in the Twins’ fifth loss in seven games.

“We’re giving up too many runs early in the ballgame,” Dozier said. “We’re still making mistakes on the bases. Cost us a couple of runs. Scoring a few runs then giving up a few after that. … That kind of thing.”

White Sox starter Carlos Rodon retired the first 11 batters before giving up consecutive home runs to Grossman and Dozier. Rodon’s day was over after Dozier’s RBI single with one out in the sixth. He allowed four runs and five hits.

Frazier, who entered the day one homer behind major league leader Mark Trumbo of Baltimore, pulled a changeup from Tommy Milone into the bullpen to lead off the second inning. It was the 14th consecutive solo homer by Chicago, one shy of the team record set in 1965.

Milone didn’t get out of the fourth for a second straight start. The lefty was charged with five runs and nine hits while getting 10 outs. He also served up the first walk to the free-swinging Anderson in his 86th big league plate appearance.

Molitor wouldn’t say if Milone will make his next scheduled start. Opponents have hit .222 the first time they see the left-hander in a game but .386 thereafter.

“I got ahead (in the count) but couldn’t get that (out) pitch,” Milone said. “That’s kind of the way things have been going. My command can be in and out. That’s the biggest issue.”


Strange days

Before his team fell to 1-8 against Chicago, Molitor admitted to a lineup that was “a little bit strange.” 1B-DH Joe Mauer was rested against a lefty, Grossman moved to DH, Danny Santana played left field, his first start in four days, and hot-hitting C Kurt Suzuki started a third consecutive game.

“I think everyone likes stability at as many positions as you can have,” Molitor said. “We haven’t been in that spot, so we’ve been in flux in the outfield, infield. … It’s kind of day to day.”


Trainer’s room

Twins: The status of OF-3B Miguel Sano was to be reevaluated after a doubleheader with Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He was expected to play both games. … RHP Trevor May (back spasms) is scheduled to throw in consecutive games for Rochester beginning Friday.

White Sox: On what should have been a special day for DH Matt Davidson, he broke his right foot rounding first after an RBI single in his White Sox debut. “You could see it when he went from second to third,” Ventura said. “I know he’s not a good runner, but it was remarkably poor at that point.” … LF Melky Cabrera (sprained right wrist) missed his second straight game. He’s expected to sit out at least one more day.


Up next

Twins: RHP Tyler Duffey (3-6, 5.59 ERA) starts Friday night at home against AL-leading Texas and RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-0, 9.00).