White Sox

Derek Holland gets hit hard as White Sox lose opener to Twins

Derek Holland gets hit hard as White Sox lose opener to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — Offense was everywhere at Target Field on Tuesday night.

The pitching was not as prevalent.

Derek Holland was hit hard early and the White Sox never fully recovered despite big nights at the plate from Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia. The White Sox lost their second straight, falling 9-7 to the Minnesota Twins in front of 26,095. Abreu reached base five times, falling only a triple shy of the cycle while Garcia went 3-for-4 with a homer, walk and two RBIs.

“It wasn’t (Holland’s) day today,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He missed his spots, left some pitches out over the plate that they were able to do some damage with. That’s about as much as I can give you because we didn’t leave him out there that long.

“I think he left a few pitches over the middle of the plate and you’ve got a few guys over there who can really drive the ball.”

The pitching offered up by both teams in this one was so bad that even Saul Goodman couldn’t mount a strong defense.

Holland struggled from the outset and didn’t escape the third inning. He surrendered a two-run homer to Miguel Sano in the first inning, a 425-foot laser to center to give Minnesota an early lead. Then a third-inning White Sox rally was undone by Holland in the bottom half as the Twins scored five times.

Holland walked Sano ahead of singles by Robbie Grossman and Joe Mauer, which reduced the White Sox lead to 4-3. Kennys Vargas then obliterated a 1-1 changeup from Holland, blasting it 483 feet into left-center field for a three-run homer. Holland would surrender two more singles before he exited. He allowed seven earned runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings, his second shortest start of the season.

“These guys put some runs up and the worst part is I didn’t do my job,” Holland said. “It was a really embarrassing performance and to let it slip like that is unacceptable. Too many guys working as hard as they did and putting runs on the board back for me it’s my job to shut that down but I didn’t.

“It was just everything. We try to expand out rather than in and everybody I was doing was coming back to the middle. These guys are made to hit mistakes and hit the ball. I gave out a few souvenirs and didn’t do what I was supposed to do. I have to be better than that. It’s really unacceptable.”

White Sox relievers only surrendered two earned runs but walked five batters in 5 1/3 innings.

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Minnesota pitcher Ervin Santana wasn’t much better, though he qualified for the victory.

Santana had men in scoring position in the first two innings before the White Sox rallied for four runs in the third to pull ahead. Melky Cabrera and Abreu doubled to make it a 2-1 game. Garcia’s two-run homer put the White Sox up by a run and Matt Davidson’s solo shot made it a 4-2 game. It was Garcia’s 11th homer and Davidson’s team-leading 16th.

“We’ve got to keep fighting,” said Garcia, who produced his 11th three-hit game of the season. “We have to fight to win every inning and score runs for the pitcher.

“We’ve faced (Santana) this year a couple of times. We made the adjustment and we just tried to do our best, don’t do too much and try to do our job.”

Though they battled to the end, the White Sox couldn’t finish the job. They got back within 7-6 in the fifth when Yolmer Sanchez followed walks of Garcia and Tim Anderson with a two-out, two-run triple. But Santana struck out Adam Engel to strand the tying run. Santana allowed six earned runs and 10 hits in five innings with two walks.

Twins relievers allowed six hits and walked two in four innings but limited the damage to one run. Abreu’s homer in the sixth got the White Sox within 8-7 but Kevan Smith lined out with the bases loaded to end the inning. The White Sox also had the tying run on third base in the seventh and eighth innings but couldn’t pull even as Matt Belisle, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

“We had the guys come in to pick up Dutch and kind of kept us there,” Renteria said. “We kept battling back. We weren’t obviously able to overcome the deficit but they gave us a chance. We had a chance to win the ballgame.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What kind of player will Yoan Moncada become?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What kind of player will Yoan Moncada become?

Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss the trials and tribulations of Yoan Moncada during his first full season in the majors and what kind of player they think he will become.

Plus, they talk about some White Sox buried treasure that Chuck found on the internet: Nolan Ryan pitching a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the White Sox from 1974 with audio from Harry Caray's call that night.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Jose Abreu hospitalized with infection in thigh, expected to miss series with Indians

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu hospitalized with infection in thigh, expected to miss series with Indians

Jose Abreu is facing another medical issue as his fifth major league season comes to a close.

The White Sox first baseman has been hospitalized with an infection in his right thigh, according to the team, which added that the infection is unrelated to his previous trip to the hospital, when he had surgery to relieve testicular torsion last month.

The White Sox have officially designated Abreu as day-to-day, though he's expected to miss this week's three-game series against the Cleveland Indians in Ohio.

Abreu missed about three weeks following last month's procedure, a layoff that ended the idea of a fifth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. He returned to action on Sept. 10 and picked up three hits in that game, before going hitless in his last five contests.      

The 2018 campaign has been Abreu's worst, statistically, since coming over from Cuba ahead of the 2014 season. He's been a pillar of consistency during his big league career, and even an extended midseason slump didn't seem capable of slowing down his production too much, as he was on fire coming out of the All-Star break.

But battling a new health issue, Abreu's stat line looks like this with just 13 games remaining on the team's schedule and perhaps only a maximum of 10 games remaining in his season: a .265/.325/.473 slash line with 22 home runs and 78 RBIs. All of those numbers, save slugging percentage, would be career lows.  

 However, 2018 has not been without its big moments for Abreu, who was elected the American League's starting first baseman for the All-Star Game.

Abreu is under team control through the end of the 2019 season. His value at the plate and the rebuilding status of the team could cause his names to pop up in trade rumors once again. But the White Sox speak highly of the 31-year-old, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him stick with the team as the rebuilding effort progresses toward planned perennial contention.