White Sox rally past Twins 5-4
Wins don’t come easily or often for the Chicago White Sox, and newcomers Avisail Garcia and Andre Rienzo saw that Saturday.
In his first start for Chicago, Garcia went 1-for-4 and scored a run as the White Sox held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 5-4, ending a 12-game losing streak against the American League Central.
Rienzo, who had been 0-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his first two starts, struggled with control in his home debut. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up four runs, seven hits and five walks and left with the White Sox trailing 4-3.
Garcia led off the sixth with a single and scored the tying run on a Blake Tekotte sacrifice fly. The White Sox then went ahead 5-4 on Conor Gillaspie’s single to left.
Relievers David Purcey (1-1), Nate Jones, Donnie Veal and Addison Reed combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and six strikeouts, with Reed getting his 28th save in 33 tries. But it wasn’t without a scare.
After getting two quick outs, Reed saw Oswaldo Arcia drive a pitch deep to the wall in left. But unlike most of a series that has produced 14 homers, the ball didn’t go out and was caught at the wall by Alejandro De Aza, securing Chicago’s first win over a division opponent since July 25.
“We’ve had a few of those this year and we’ll take it,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
Garcia was acquired from Detroit as part of a three-team deal that sent Jake Peavy to Boston. He was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on Friday to take Alex Rios’ roster spot. After arriving too late to start the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, Garcia was Chicago’s center fielder on Saturday.
He went hitless in two at-bats after coming off the bench Friday, but his first hit with the White Sox was the single up the middle to open the sixth that started what turned out to be a winning rally.
“I was trying to put the ball in play and get on base,” Garcia said. “I did. And I (scored).”
Like Garcia, Rienzo could be a part of a future the White Sox are focusing on now.
During his first two starts, Rienzo didn’t allow any home runs, but that changed when he allowed two in the third to give back an early 3-0 lead. The first was a three-run shot to Justin Morneau that tied the score. Two batters later, Arcia homered to put Minnesota in front 4-3.
Those runs, despite the five walks, were all that Rienzo allowed. Control problems have led to 11 walks in three starts.
“Bad. That’s bad,” Rienzo said.
Minnesota starter Mike Pelfrey (4-10) had his own issues.
Pelfrey, who is 0-4 in his last six starts, went five-plus innings and allowed five runs (four earned), four hits with five walks. After allowing Garcia to single and walking Danks, Pelfrey (4-10) was replaced in the sixth by Anthony Swarzak, who gave up Tekotte’s sacrifice fly and then Gillaspie’s go-ahead single.
“I was terrible,” Pelfrey said. “Way too many walks.”
Pelfrey’s woes undid another day of power for the Twins, who homered seven times to sweep Friday’s doubleheader. Morneau has six homers in August and Arcia has three this series.
“We got a lead and unfortunately after that they jump on us, get a couple there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We had plenty of chances after that. I don’t know how many strikeouts again and I don’t know how many times we left people out there in scoring position but I know it was an awful lot.”
The Twins struck out 11 times after fanning 25 times in two games Friday and left 10 men on base. But they were still a few feet from tying the score on Arcia’s last swing.
“He did exactly what I wanted him to do,” Reed said. “I wanted him to hit it hard at De Aza and have De Aza make a great play. And that happened. So everything worked out perfect, just as I planned.”
NOTES: One day after coming off the disabled list from a 33-game absence, Josh Willingham was in the Minnesota lineup as the designated hitter. “It’s just easier this way,” Gardenhire said. “Just let him do what he’s doing.” … White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham batted leadoff for the fifth time in his career and the second time in 2013. He walked four times. … When Chris Colabello homered during the fourth inning of Friday’s Game 1, Twins reliever Jared Burton threw a fake punch at teammate Brian Duensing with cameras watching as the ball flew over the bullpen. Gardenhire didn’t seem to mind the gag. “The game of baseball, it’s a game and you’ve got to have fun doing it,” Gardenhire said. … OF Dayan Viciedo was originally in the lineup as Chicago’s No. 8 hitter and left fielder but was scratched with a sore left thumb. Tekotte replaced him in left. … Sunday’s pitching matchup is RHP Kevin Correia (7-8, 4.84 ERA) against Chicago’s Jose Quintana (6-3, 3.51 ERA).