White Sox 10, Twins 6: The Good, Bad, And Indifferent
Before I go into the offense, let me just give special attention to Crede, who had a heck of a day at the plate.
Crede missed yesterday's ballgame with a bruised hand, but he came back today and went 4/4—two singles and two solo home runs—with two RBI and three runs scored.
With his performance in the series opener, Crede is hitting .286 with 12 home runs and 33 RBI. Hopefully, Crede can keep this production up and merit some serious consideration to make the American League All-Star team as a reserve.
The name of the game for the White Sox today was aggressiveness.
Down 3-2 going into the fifth inning, the White Sox plated six quick runs on just eight pitches.
Nick Swisher saw one pitch before smacking a single to center to lead the inning off. Joe Crede then following with a first-pitch single and Alexei Ramirez laid down a first-pitch bunt that he beat out to load the bases for Orlando Cabrera, who singled in Swisher on the first pitch.
AJ Pierzynski then ripped a two-run double on the second pitch of his at-bat to make it 5-3 White Sox and knock Twins starter Nick Blackburn out of the game.
When Blackburn was pulled, he had thrown just 56 pitches.
The aggressiveness didn't stop when Blackburn was pulled, though. On Juan Rincon's first pitch of his outing, Carlos Quentin hit an opposite field, three-run home run to put the White Sox up 8-3.
Six runs, eight pitches
Lately, they have had a very good strategy—being aggressive—and it has worked wonders, as the Sox have really started to click offensively since returning to U.S. Cellular Field.
The final line for the offense was ten runs on a whopping 16 hits and one walk. The Sox hit four home runs on the game—Jermaine Dye added the other in addition to both of Crede's and Quentin's.
After Javier Vazquez was pulled with one out in the sixth, Octavio Dotel, Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink, and Esteban Loiaza combined to hold the Twins scoreless and nail down a big victory for the White Sox.
Dotel entered the game in the sixth with men on first and second and immediately allowed a single to load the bases. However, he struck out Carlos Gomez and got Alexi Casilla to ground out to end the inning and quash the threat.
Thornton and Linebrink threw a scoreless inning each to keep the Twins out of striking distance
After being spotted a five-run lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, Vazquez was unable to get himself out of the inning after allowing a solo home run to start the inning and a single and a walk with one out.
The walk was what ultimately did in Vazquez, who was pulled at that point in favor of Octavio Dotel.
While he only allowed four earned runs, he was able to go just 5.1 innings, allowing nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
It certainly would have been nice if Vazquez was able to go seven innings in today's game and save the bullpen for the three games that are left in this series. It's for this reason that Vazquez ends up in the "bad" column.
Flashback: it's 2003, and Esteban Loaiza is pitching for the White Sox.
Catching him is Miguel Olivo with Konerko at first, Roberto Alomar/D'Angelo Jimenez at second, Jose Valentin at short, Crede at third, and an outfield of Carlos Lee, Carl Everett, and Magglio Ordonez with Frank Thomas as the DH.
Well, it ain't 2003, unfortunately for Loaiza, who gave up three hits and two runs in his return to the White Sox.
Luckily, the game was well out of reach when Loaiza entered the game, but it would have been nice to see him set the Twins down in order to keep them from getting any sort of momentum heading into tomorrow's contest.
Nothing here, I suppose. Jim Thome really wore it today, hitting into two double plays, but it wasn't anything that really hurt the offense. The Sox battled back nicely after finding themselves down 3-0 early in the game and picked up a big win in this series opener.
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