The White Sox dropped the first of a pivotal three-game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight in Minneapolis, losing 9-3. Chicago looked flat all night, managing three runs with six hits. Defensively, Javier Vazquez was hammered, giving up five runs, including two home runs to DH Jason Kubel. Looking like the kind of guy who should be bouncing at Butch McGuire's, Kubel was 2-21 in his lifetime. The Sox helped him double that in just one game.
The seventh inning was a perfect example of the sort of game the Sox were playing. With one out, Alexei Ramirez hit the ball back to pitcher Scott Baker. The hit veered left of the mound,and more often than not, would have passed the pitcher for a single. Not this time. Baker caught the pitch with his barehand and sent it right over to first base. Dewayne Wise then hit a pop-up down the third base line. With one small gust of air, the ball would have landed in the stands. Instead, it landed in Brian Buscher's glove. The Twins then hit back to back jacks in the bottom of the inning -- which would have won someone $7,000 if this were the Cubs -- and put a dagger in the hearts of the Sox.
This loss now puts the Twins a scant 1.5 games behind the Sox. With so much riding on this series, the Sox have to recover quickly. A loss in a critical game such as this one can debilitate a team, and if Ozzie is half as good a manager as he thinks he is, he will need to right the train quickly. Otherwise, the Twins might sneak away with the AL Central.