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White Sox take down Twins thanks to balk and two wild pitches

Expectations in Minnesota were very low coming into the season with the Twins fully expected to occupy one of the bottom two spots in the AL Central.

Amazingly, after just two games, the expectations may be even lower after Minnesota dropped both decisions to the Chicago White Sox. In particular, their 7-6 loss in 11 innings on Wednesday afternoon was a strong dose of reality and disappointment as the Twins turned a Leury Garcia bunt single into a game-winning rally for Chicago without the White Sox ever putting another baseball in play. Reliever Samuel Deduno gave away 270 feet for free by balking Garcia to second base, and then a pair of wild pitches — sandwiched around an intentional walk to Jose Abreu — brought him home with the winning run.

"I just missed a couple pitches, and my curveball wasn't very good against the last hitter," Deduno said. "I just missed on a lot of pitches."

Missed and missed badly.

It's not a conclusion we see often in baseball, but the walkoff wild pitch has occurred in a recent, noteworthy regular season game. On the final day of the 2013 season, the Miami Marlins scored the winner on Luke Putkonen's second wild pitch in the ninth inning, which completed Henderson Alvarez's no-hitter.

Despite Hawk Harrelson's best attempts to give it meaningful life, Wednesday's conclusion wasn't nearly as dramatic, but it was definitely painful for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

From MLB.com:

"A tough loss," Gardenhire said. "A lot of things happened in that game with some missed opportunities from us and some fundamentals that didn't get done. Ultimately, you get the lead and get the ball to your closer and you feel pretty good about it. It just didn't work out, and we couldn't finish the game off."

Adding to the frustration was the fact Chicago needed a two-run ninth inning against Minnesota closer Glen Perkins just to force extra frames. That rally was assisted by Trevor Plouffe's wild throw attempting to cut down Dayan Viciedo at home.

Fundamentally, it was about as ugly as it gets for a major league club, but that might be par for the course for a rebuilding team that posts its lineup on a napkin.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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