Buxton, Kepler come through in the 9th, Twins end White Sox winning streak at 3

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox’s game against the Minnesota Twins Monday came down to, essentially, two first-pitch sliders.

One was hit by Carlos Santana for a two-run home run, and the other was hit by Byron Buxton for a leadoff double in the top of the ninth that turned into the game winning run, and the White Sox dropped game one of their home series against the Twins, 3-2.

“That was a tough one to lose,” said White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said after the game. “I thought [Garrett] Crochet did a really good job of making adjustments … Left one pitch out over the plate to Santana and Santana did what he’s done for a long, long time, and that was it.”

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Game Recap

The White Sox’s bats were hot right out of the gate.

Nicky Lopez hit a line drive single back up the middle to start the game, then Andrew Vaughn followed it up with an RBI double to the left center gap to bring home Lopez. Then, Gavin Sheets followed Vaughn with a single before Chicago’s first baseman scored on a double-play ball to short off the bat of Eloy Jimenez.

In the top of the second, Minnesota’s Carlos Santana got out in front of a first-pitch slider from Crochet after Manuel Margot reached base on a walk, and promptly deposited the pitch 392 feet down the left field line for a two-run home run.

After that, Crochet settled in to retire 11 straight batters before being relieved by Brad Keller in the sixth.

Crochet finished his day with 5.0 innings pitched and two earned runs on two hits, one walk and seven strike outs on 77 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes.

“I felt like it took me a minute to get going,” Crochet said after the game. “I feel like giving up the homer kind of flipped the switch for me and I kind of felt like I was on autopilot for the rest of the game.”

Making his debut with the White Sox, Keller sandwiched a pair of walks around a passed ball, but still managed to get out of the inning unscathed.

Left-hander Tim Hill came in to relieve Keller with two outs in the seventh to get one batter, a groundout to Lopez at second.

Michael Kopech relieved Hill in the eighth and turned in a 1-2-3 frame of his own.

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Chicago’s bats were equally as quiet, with their next best scoring opportunity coming in the eighth.

Korey Lee led off the inning with a single before Lopez moved him over on a sacrifice bunt. Vaughn popped out to second, and Sheets worked a two-out walk to put runners at first and second, but Jimenez struck out to end the threat.

The Twins were able to push across a run in the top of the ninth though.

Byron Buxton barreled a double over the glove of Danny Mendick down the left field line on a first-pitch slider to lead off the inning, before Max Kepler brought him home on a line drive single to right field in Minnesota’s very next at-bat.

The White Sox had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, getting runners to the corners with two outs, but Lee struck out on three pitches to end the ballgame.

Up Next

The Chicago White Sox take on the Minnesota Twins in game two of their three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Central Time, with Michael Soroka on the mound for the White Sox, and Simeon Woods-Richardson pitching for the Twins.

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