New players for the White Sox have the intense advantage of not being associated with any of the misery that has permeated the season for over four months. It’s easier to get excited about someone who hasn’t had a hand in 71 losses and a summer of sticky-hot sadness than otherwise.
Avisail Garcia! He’s from the Tigers! They’re good at baseball!
Andre Rienzo! He’s from Brazil! It’s warm there!
But until further notice, the biggest rookie success so far might be Conor Gillaspie being…eh…not terrible against right-handed pitching. He came in the game hitting .258/.319/.409 against right-handers and while it was another blah 1-5 day for the rather blah 26 year-old third basemen, he took a 92 mph fastball from Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak and flipped into left field under the diving reach of Oswaldo Arcia to give the Sox a 5-4 advantage in the sixth that held up for the afternoon.
It was a rare moment of inadequacy for Arcia, who hit his third home run of the series in the top of the third to put the Twins up 4-3, and skied another fly ball off Addison Reed that required a leaping catch at the wall from Alejandro De Aza to end the game. He could easily be in the division for another six seasons.
Arcia’s blast capped off the first troubled outing for White Sox starter Andre Rienzo, who earlier in the third inning hung a curve that Justin Morneau took out to right for a game-tying three-run blast. Lacking control all day, Rienzo’s normally frantic pace slowed to a crawl. After two hours he had only ground his way through five innings with over 100 pitches used and had to be saved in the sixth by David Purcey, after his fifth walk of the day ended his outing after 5.1 innings of work.
The Sox responded by similarly escorting out Twins starter Mike Pelfrey in the bottom half of the frame. Avisail Garcia’s first hit with the White Sox–a bouncer up the middle–led off the rally that was pushed on by walks by Jordan Danks (who also added a solo shot in the second) and Gordon Beckham (who achieved the feat three other times on the day) white late sub Blake Tekotte knocked a sacrifice fly to center field, and Gillaspie did his work.
Lights-out stretches from Nate Jones (1.1 innings, four strikeouts) and a 1-2-3 save from Reed that still managed to be white-knuckled, sealed up the fourth win of the week.
Purcey received his first win of the year and with the franchise, Tekotte got his second RBI as a White Sox, Avisail Garcia got his first run with the White Sox (while looking like slightly less of a hack machine) and this franchise has still yet to suffer a loss on a day that Jordan Danks homers. Some days, the planets align for marginal major leaguers.
Team Record: 44-71
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