Jeff Samardzija made his best start of the season in the White Sox’ 3-2 victory over the Twins on Friday, snapping a three-game losing skid at U.S. Cellular Field.
The hard-throwing right-hander gave up two runs on three hits in eight innings — his second consecutive eight-inning effort.
Samardzija got off to his typically rocky start, surrendering two runs on two hits in the first inning.
After walking the leadoff batter in the second, though, Samardzija retired the next 17 batters in order. Eduardo Escobar singled with two outs in the seventh to snap the perfect streak.
“He just seemed to get stronger [the last two] games, really, as he went through it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “I think that’s what you kind of start to expect out of him. I think as the game goes along, he just seemed to be locating better, throwing harder, sharper stuff. You feel pretty comfortable, even with him up around 100 pitches, you’re still feeling really good about him.”
Samardzija was still throwing in the mid-90s in the eighth inning and collected his eighth and ninth strikeouts against the last two batters he faced.
“The last two times out I felt really good,” Samardzija said. “Me and [pitching coach Don] Cooper made some adjustments in what we’re doing and just trying to keep me back and not so aggressive all the time. Understand when you need to add and understand when you need to subtract. I feel good. My pitches are in the zone, which is the most important thing.”
Geovany Soto tied the game with a two-run double in the fourth inning, and J.B. Shuck — starting in place of Avisail Garcia, a late scratch with knee inflammation — hit a go-ahead sac fly in the eighth that scored Gordon Beckham. Shuck’s RBI put Samardzija in line for his fourth win of the season.
David Robertson pitched a flawless ninth inning against the heart of the Twins order for his ninth save.
Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single in the fifth.