It wasn’t just a monkey the Sox got off their back on Saturday, it was a large gorilla. For the first time this season and the first time in ten games, the White Sox finally beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3.
For a while it looked as though the Sox struggles against the Twins would continue. After Alexei Ramirez gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Minnesota scored two unearned runs in the third. The Sox came back to tie things in the sixth only to see the Twins take the lead in the eighth. Then something happened that the Sox haven’t done much of lately. Get a clutch hit. Carlos Quentin hit a two out RBI single to tie things up in the eighth and Alexei Ramirez won the game on a two out single in the ninth.
Mark Buehrle was outstanding on Saturday afternoon. Buehrle went eight innings and allowed three unearned runs on just four hits. The Sox lefty also struck out a season high eight batters. Jesse Crain pitched a perfect ninth to earn the victory against his former team. Crain improved to 5-2 on the season.
Brian Duensing pitched well for the Twins but didn’t figure in on the decision. Duensing went seven innings and gave up just two runs on five hits. Jose Mijares took the loss dropping his record to 0-1 on the season.
The Sox will look for a series split when the two teams face off Sunday afternoon.
When the Chicago White Sox see the Minnesota Twins on the other side of the field chances are they are going to struggle. It doesn't matter the stadium, the roster, or the opposing pitcher the Twins have a psychological hold on the White Sox. For a long time it was that the Sox struggled in the Metrodome. Target field opens and no change. The so called piranha's like Nick Punto would do the Sox in. Punto is gone and no change. Everything the Twins do against the Sox seems to work and there doesn't appear to be any quick fix in sight.
The Twins will go for their tenth straight win over the White Sox Saturday at U.S. Cellular field. Although the Twins have been decimated with injuries all season they still have no problems with the South Siders. After another loss Friday, the Sox are just 6-28 in their last 34 against Minnesota.
Mark Buehrle gets the start for the Sox in what could be considered a must win just for the teams mental state. Buehrle has pitched well of late. Although he hasn't earned a decision in his last three starts the Sox have won all three of those games. On the season Buehrle is 6-5 with an ERA of 3.66. The Sox lefty pitched well against the Twins back in June, but was the tough luck loser in a 1-0 defeat.
The Twins will counter with lefty Brian Duensing. Duensing is coming off a complete game shutout Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Twins Lefty is 6-7 on the season with an ERA of 4.25. Much like all the Twins pitchers, Duensing has had success in his career against the Sox. The Marysville, KS native is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA against the White Sox in his ten previous appearances four of which were starts.
The forecast at the time of first pitch is partly cloudy skies with temps in the 80's. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 CST. The game can be seen on Fox.