Minnesota Twins Game Grades in 6-5 Loss to Chicago

Jun 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Avisail Garcia (26) slides safely past Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) as he scores on Chicago White Sox center fielder J.B. Shuck
Jun 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox designated hitter Avisail Garcia (26) slides safely past Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) as he scores on Chicago White Sox center fielder J.B. Shuck /

Minnesota Twins Rally to Tie, Only to Lose Game in Eighth

It was a game of lost chances today as the Minnesota Twins rallied nicely against the White Sox, only to see Fernando Abad fall apart in the 8th inning as Chicago scored the winning run with 2 outs. The Twins fall to 25-53 – 22.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians.

Minnesota overcame a poor start by Tommy Milone, who lasted only 3.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, including a home run allowed to the AL’s top slugger, Todd Frazier, a solo shot in the second. That was Chicago’s 14th consecutive home run with the bases empty. One more and they will tie their 1965 record.

The Minnesota Twins were trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, when Brian Dozier and Robbie Grossman delivered back-to-back shots to tie the game. Dozier’s hitting streak has stretched to a dozen games, with the last 11 games including an extra base hit, setting a new team record. The extra base streak is the longest in the majors since Chipper Jones in 2006.

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Milone immediately gave back 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth. The inning featured line drives, doubles, a stolen base when Milone looked to have forgotten there was a man on first, and a bases-loaded walk.

With the bases still loaded and only one out, Milone was yanked in favor of Neil Ramirez. He induced the dangerous Jose Abreu to ground into a double play to get the Twins out of the fourth trailing just 5-2.

That appeared to loom large as Byron Buxton continuing a mini-resurgence by doubling to lead off the sixth. He scored on an Eduardo Nunez single. After Grossman walked with one out, Nunez scored on Dozier’s single, but Grossman was thrown out at third base to quell the rally.

Nunez had an RBI single in the 7th inning, his 26th multi-hit game of the season, but he too was erased on the base paths when he tried to reach 2nd base on the throw. The throw was easily cut off and Nunez again showed poor base-running skills for the second consecutive night.

In the bottom of the eighth, Fernando Abad finally made an appearance. Abad hasn’t appeared in a game in over a week due to back stiffness, but quickly collected two outs. He then walked Avisail Garcia on a full count, and inexplicably walked Jason Coats on four pitches, who was 1-17 for the season coming into the at-bat.

Abad then would face J.B. Schuck, who snagged his first hit off a lefty (Milone) in the 4th inning. He got his second off Abad to drive in the winning run, just the 5th hit allowed by Abad all year to a left-handed batter.

Any thought of another Twins comeback in the 9th inning disappeared as David Robertson struck out the side (other than Kurt Suzuki‘s single) to pick up his 11th straight converted save. Robertson is now 21-23 in save opportunities, and is second in the AL in saves. Chicago has once again climbed above .500, now 40-39, 8 games behind streaking Cleveland.

128. 5. 2. Final. 6

. Dozier. OFFENSE . B-. 8 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts, 2 home runs and 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Dozier wrapped up a sizzling June, hitting (.364 AVG / .432 OBP / 1.139 OPS) slash with 7 home runs and 19 RBI this month. He more than doubled his homers and RBI from the first two months combined.

Tommy Milone. STARTERS . D-. Team totals: 9 hits allowed, 1 walk, 1 home run and 3 strikeouts. After impressing at AAA Rochester, Milone has throw 7 innings since his promotion. He’s allowed 15 hits with 3 walks and only 4 strikeouts..

Neil Ramirez. RELIEVERS . B. Team totals: 3 hits allowed, 2 walks, 0 home runs and 4 strikeouts.Ramirez escaped the 4th inning jam and pitched well once again in relief. Ramirez gave up a home run to the first batter he faced as a Twin, but has given up only one other run in the 9.2 innings since. Abad gets the loss, a bad one (sorry) as he walked a batter hitting .059 with two outs..

C. Twins made 1 error and some poor throws from the outfield. Loose play leads to extra bases that are magnified in tight ball games. Twins turned two double plays with Dozier in the middle of both. Suzuki threw out his seventh runner and Chicago picked up two steals versus him. He’s now 7-28 (25%) on the year.. . Dozier. DEFENSE

Next: Red Hot Dozier Blasts Sox

MVT: Brian Dozier

The Twins will face return home for the holiday weekend to face the red-hot Texas Rangers. Ervin Santana may be making one of his last starts for the Twins, as trade rumors are swirling around the right-handed starter. Rangers will counter with Martin Perez. First pitch is at 7:10 CDT. Fox Sports North will broadcast the game.