White Sox 3, Twins 0
CHICAGO (AP)—In Javier Vazquez’s native Puerto Rico, weather like this is unheard of—bone-chilling temperatures and numbing winds that make pitching a greater challenge than ever.
“I don’t think anybody is comfortable pitching in that weather, but everybody is out there playing on the same page. You know it was a cold day, but I felt good out there,” Vazquez said after he allowed one hit over 6 2-3 scoreless innings Saturday to lead the Chicago White Sox over the Minnesota Twins 3-0.
Vazquez ended a long victory drought and four Chicago relievers completed the three-hit shutout on another chilly day at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I’ve known since the beginning of last week that Friday was going to be cold. So I was prepared for that. It got canceled, but I got prepared for today, also,” Vazquez said. “You don’t want to play in the weather. But you got to play in this weather.”
After Friday night’s game was postponed by cold, the gametime temperature Saturday was 31 degrees with a 20-degree wind chill, thanks to winds at 19 mph. Many players and the base umpires covered their ears and an announced crowd of 33,278 was bundled up like it was a football game.
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko called Saturday’s game probably the coldest he’s ever played in.
“It wasn’t that cold at the World Series,” Konerko said. “The other day it was a little bit warmer, it was snowing a little. Today, as far as cold, it was as bad as I’ve been in.”
Asked if he could remember a game this cold, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ready with an answer.
“Maybe Kenosha, Wisconsin. A-ball,” he said. “I think that was the last time I remember it being that cold. But you don’t talk about it, you just play. We had the big heater going and guys were getting loose. The guys out in the field were feeling the effects, both teams. You can see it. Some of the swings, not the quickest at-bats. That’s part of it. They got the runs and we didn’t.”
In winning for the first time since last Aug. 10, Vazquez walked four and struck out five.
Vazquez, who went 0-6 in his final 10 starts last season and then received a three-year, $34.5 million contract extension this spring, gave up a leadoff single to Michael Cuddyer in the second inning. It was Minnesota’s only hit until Luis Castillo beat out an infield single with two outs in the eighth. Cuddyer added a double in the ninth.
After Cuddyer’s single in the second, the Twins loaded the bases on two walks. But Vazquez escaped when Cuddyer forgot how many outs there were, broke off third on Jason Tyner’s one-out pop to shortstop and was easily doubled off.
“I just lost concentration out there,” Cuddyer said. “There is no excuse. I thought there were two outs and unfortunately there was only one.”
Vazquez (1-0) hit Cuddyer with a pitch to open the seventh and after walking Justin Morneau got Torii Hunter to hit into a double play. But manager Ozzie Guillen then went to the bullpen, bringing in Andrew Sisco, who struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Cirillo.
Bobby Jenks pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
“Everybody was real excited in the dugout watching Javy, the way he was throwing,” Guillen said. “I think he has good enough stuff to go out there and win a lot of games.”
Twins starter Carlos Silva (0-1) allowed five hits and one run in five innings, that coming in the first after Darin Erstad singled to end an 11-pitch at-bat, Jim Thome walked and Paul Konerko hit an RBI single.
The White Sox added two runs in the bottom of the eighth off Dennys Reyes. Juan Uribe led off with his first homer. Scott Podsednik bunted for a single, moved up on a sacrifice and scored when Reyes threw wildly to second on a pickoff attempt.
Twins LF Rondell White was a late scratch with a strained right calf. … Not only was Vazquez winless in his final 10 starts last season, he was 0-4 in six spring training starts. … Vazquez was 0-4 against the Twins last season. … Silva is now 4-7 in his career against the White Sox.
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