The Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins for the second consecutive night to extend their division lead to three games.
Rookie Dane Dunning got the ball for the White Sox and Randy Dobnak took the mound for the Twins. The White Sox offense came to life tonight behind Dunning’s dazzling start.
The Sox got to Dobnak early in the first. Tim Anderson led off with a single. Three batters later, Jose Abreu singled to the right side with Anderson on the move to put runners at the corners with two outs. Eloy Jimenez wasted no time with a base knock to right field on the first pitch to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. The extended inning forced the Twins’ starter to throw 31 pitches opposed to Dunning’s nine in the first.
In the top of the third, Byron Buxton made up for last night’s almost inside-the-park home run with a real one. He took a pitch deep to center that Luis Robert tried to make a leaping grab on. The ball went off the wall and gave Buxton enough time to scamper around the bases to tie the game at 1-1.
The Sox answered back in the bottom half of the third frame. Yasmani Grandal walked and advanced to third thanks to a Minnesota throwing error on an Abreu infield single. James McCann doubled home Grandal to make it 2-1 Good Guys.
Robert followed with a two-RBI single to extend the lead to 4-1.
Later in the fifth, Buxton singled to lead things off. A wild pitch and passed ball advanced him to third. Ryan Jeffers grounded out to plate Buxton, making the score 4-2 White Sox.
In the bottom of the sixth with Tyler Clippard on the mound for Minnesota, Anderson stayed hot with a solo home run that just kept carrying to left. 5-2 White Sox.
What can’t be overlooked is Dunning’s performance. The two young arms at the tail-end of the Sox rotation gave the offense more than a chance in the first two games of this series. Dunning’s outing ended after seven strong innings. He allowed just three hits, two runs — one of them earned — two walks, and seven strikeouts on a career-high 102 pitches.
After the stretch, McCann added to the lead with a solo home run to left field to make it 6-2 White Sox.
In the top of the eighth inning, Jace Fry entered the game to replace Dunning. It was the lefty’s first appearance since September 2nd in Minnesota. His return from the ten-day injured list was a fruitful one, as he struck out the side.
Fry remained in the game for the first out of the ninth before Ricky Renteria pulled him for Matt Foster. The new reliever got the final two outs despite a double from Travis Blankenhorn. The White Sox took game two of the series by a final score of 6-2.
The victory moved the club’s home record to 16-9. The South Siders now have two very important wins under their belts to begin this series. Game three of the four-game set will take place tomorrow night at 7:10 PM CT. Lucas Giolito gets the ball for the Sox and Jake Odorizzi will start for the Twins.
Be sure to check out the Sox On Tap podcast after each game for everything South Side as we approach the postseason!