CHICAGO 7, MINNESOTA 4 IN CHICAGO
Date: Saturday, April 26.
Batting stars: Jacque Jones was 2-for-5. Michael Cuddyer was 1-for-1 with a two-run homer, his second. Corey Koskie was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second. A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.
Pitching star: Mike Fetters pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk and striking out one.
Opposition stars: Carlos Lee was 3-for-4 with a home run (his sixth), two doubles, and two runs. Jon Garland pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and striking out five. Tom Gordon struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit. Frank Thomas was 2-for-3 with a home run (his fifth), two walks, and two runs. Magglio Ordonez was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his fourth and fifth) and three RBIs.
The game: There were no hits on either side until the second, when Lee hit a two-out two-run homer. Pierzynski matched it with a leadoff home run in the third, so it was 1-1. The Twins put two on with one out, but could do no more.
The White Sox took control in the fourth. Thomas and Ordonez led off the inning with home runs. Lee hit a one-out double and Joe Crede had a two-out RBI single to make it 4-1. They added another run in the fifth. Jose Valentin walked, Thomas singled, and Ordonez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out. Brian Daubach then singled home a run. Fetters came in to retire the next two batters and hold the score at 5-1.
Koskie homered in the sixth to make it 5-2, but that was as close as the Twins would come. Ordonez hit a two-run homer in the eighth to build the lead to 7-2. Cuddyer hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to cut the margin back to three, but that was it.
WP: Garland (1-2). LP: Kyle Lohse (2-3). S: None.
Notes: Chris Gomez was at second base in place of Luis Rivas. Bobby Kielty was in right field.
Cuddyer pinch-hit for Gomez in the ninth.
Gomez was 0-for-3 and was batting .346. Kielty was 0-for-4 and fell to .345. Jones raised his average to .305.
Lohse struck out eight but lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks. This was the second poor game in a row for Lohse. Over those two games, his ERA rose from 1.69 to 4.80. It is, of course, still early in the season.
This was Garland's fifth start of the season, and only the second one that was any good. His ERA at this point of the season was 6.49. Garland made over 30 starts a year for nine consecutive seasons, and pitched over 190 innings in each of those seasons. However, only twice in those nine seasons was his ERA below four and only two other times was it below 4.50. What he did still has value, but of course he would have had more value if he'd actually been good in all those years.
I have no memory of Tom Gordon as a member of the White Sox. This was his only year with them, but it was a darn good one: 7-6, 12 saves, 3.16, 1.19 WHIP. He would go on to have two excellent years for the Yankees and one fine year for Philadelphia. 2006 was his last good season, but he would pitch for three more years before his career ended. His earlier years, of course, were with Kansas City and Boston. It was a pretty good career. He led the league in saves i 1998 with 46. He was second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1989 (behind Gregg Olson). He made three all-star teams. He also pitched in 21 seasons. He won't make the Hall of Fame, but he had a career to be proud of.
With the loss, the Twins streak of series sweeps to start the season ended at seven.
Record: The Twins were 10-13, in third place in the American League Central, eight games behind Kansas City.