Eighth-inning errors prove costly to White Sox in 8-6 loss to Twins

SHARE Eighth-inning errors prove costly to White Sox in 8-6 loss to Twins

Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale watches after being pulled in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 8-6. Sale had no decision. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS — Failing at the fundamentals cost the Chicago White Sox.

Miguel Sano’s towering home run tied the game for Minnesota in the seventh inning Tuesday, and two Chicago errors aided the go-ahead rally in the eighth for the Twins in an 8-6 victory.

Adam Eaton tied a career high with four hits for Chicago, which trailed 4-0 early, but took a 5-4 lead on an Avisail Garcia’s two-run home run in the sixth.

Zach Duke (3-5) didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced in the eighth and committed a costly error.

“I literally did nothing to help us win a game today,” he said. “It’s borderline embarrassing.”

Eduardo Escobar’s leadoff double, his third hit, started the trouble for Duke, who threw away a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kurt Suzuki for one run. Third baseman Tyler Saladino let a grounder go through his legs, and the Twins scored twice more on a single and a sacrifice fly.

“Defensively, at the end that’s what you’re disappointed by,” said Chicago manager Robin Ventura. “The execution there at the end just didn’t get it done.”

Minnesota, which began the day a game behind Texas for the second American League Wild Card spot, is 7-1 at home this year against its division rivals, outscoring Chicago 60-23.

Kevin Jepsen (3-6) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the win. Glen Perkins recorded his 32nd save, his first in 16 days, despite a three-hit ninth that included an RBI single by Saladino.

Garcia’s sixth inning blast gave Chris Sale and the White Sox a 5-4 lead, but Ventura pulled the lanky left-hander with one out in the seventh for hard-throwing righty Nate Jones for the right-handed heart of Minnesota’s order.

Sano drove a full-count, two-out slider into the second deck, taking three steps before starting a slow jog to complete his 14th home run in his 50th major league game.

“I know he’s young, but he doesn’t look young when he’s going to the plate,” Ventura said.

Sale had 10 strikeouts for the White Sox, his 13th start this season with double digits. The last major league pitcher to strike out at least 10 batters that many times in a year was Randy Johnson, who had 13 such starts in 2004 for Arizona.

“I’m definitely appreciative of it. I understand what it is and what it means, but at the same time we’re right in the thick of it right now and we’ve just started one of the hardest months of the year,” said Sale, who continues to struggle against the Twins.

Sale is 1-3 with a 6.30 ERA in five starts against Minnesota this year and 11-4 with a 2.68 ERA in his 21 other turns. Sale threw two wild pitches in a four-run second by the Twins, when Escobar and Suzuki hit RBI singles and Brian Dozier added a two-run double.

“We scored a few runs there to get it close and I thought he did a great job of getting to that point of giving it off to the bullpen,” Ventura said.

In just his fifth start, Tyler Duffey recorded 14 outs through the first 14 Chicago batters he faced.

Then came the two-out single by Adam LaRoche, three consecutive walks to the last three hitters in the lineup and a two-run single by Eaton to cut the lead to 4-3.


White Sox: RHP Erik Johnson, C Rob Brantly and utility INF Leury Garcia from Triple-A Charlotte and RHP Frankie Montas from Double-A Birmingham were the call-ups for now. Johnson and Montas, two of the organization’s top pitching prospects, will both begin in the bullpen.

Johnson, announced Tuesday as the International League Pitcher of the Year award winner, has enjoyed a renaissance after a rough year in 2014. GM Rick Hahn said Johnson is “very much back in the mix” for the rotation next season.


The White Sox send LHP Carlos Rodon (6-5, 4.15 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. LHP Tommy Milone (6-4, 3.86 ERA) starts for the Twins.

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