An evening with a solid baseball team: Sox top Twins
By James Fegan
Make a few visual edits, change some names, airbrush the copious amounts of sweat covering Jose Quintana‘s jersey and you could smoothly drop this game into 2012. Pre-September, of course.
Take an early outburst of solo home runs and a crucial hit with runners in scoring position that provided sufficient but unremarkable offense against thoroughly middling Kevin Correia, find a spot forJose Quintana guiling his way through a rough third inning and getting ridden into the seventh until he was completely out of steam, and sprinkle some white-knuckle bullpen moments, and you have a nice, familiar and relaxing 5-2 win. Apparently there was a 10-game road losing streak going
Hero For the Day Dayan Viciedo banged an inside fastball on the ground and through the dead center of the infield with two outs in the second, scoring Adam Dunn and Avisail Garcia–who had singled on a rare ball hit in the air and over the infield–and erasing an early 1-0 deficit brought on by Joe Mauer slamming a first inning home run off Jose Quintana.
Correia started looking suspiciously like well-cooked meat in the third. He hung a slider that Jeff Keppinger ripped to an easy landing in the left field seats, and split the plate with a fastball to Adam Dunn that he whipped into the right field flower boxes for the second solo shot of the inning. Any other team might have assumed the rout was on. A 4-1 lead for the White Sox sure feels like one.
Naturally, the runs dried up shortly afterward and Quintana was battling for his life by the bottom half of the inning. After walking Brian Dozier and plunking Josh Willinham, he got embroiled in a 12-pitch at-bat with Ryan Doumit, who fouled off a bevy of high, but not up-the-ladder fastballs until Quintana crossed him up with a backdoor slider. After racking up 64 pitches over the first three innings, the 24 year-old left-hander blazed through the next three frames using just 34 deliveries.
Only Viciedo losing all concept of the dimensions of left field in Target Field and letting a Wilkin Ramirez fly ball drop on the warning track for a triple signaled the end for Jose. He departed after allowing a two-out single to Brian Dozier, so that Donnie Veal could take his sweet time getting out of the inning with Mauer and Justin Morneau lined up.
Fitting for the evening, an inexplicably rushed throw by Trevor Plouffe at third on a Paul Konerko dribbler up the line gave the run right back in the eighth. Avisail Garcia ended the inning with a groundout, so not everything could fit into 2012, especially not a shutout inning from Addison Reed to close it out.
Team Record: 47-74
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