MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Everything went right for Andrew Albers when he started his major league career with the Minnesota Twins by not allowing a run in his first two starts.
The breaks went the other way in his third outing.
Minnesota misplayed two fly balls by losing them in the sky and Albers’ scoreless streak to start his career was snapped at 17 1-3 innings as the Chicago White Sox beat the Twins 8-5 Saturday. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off Albers and Alejandro De Aza added a two-run shot in the ninth after the Twins had climbed back within a run.
“I was able to catch the breaks those first two nights, and tonight didn’t quite catch as many,” Albers said. “Things change, and then you make one bad pitch, and you pay for it. It’s a fine line in this game, and sometimes, that’s how things go.”
Chris Sale (9-11) won his third straight start for the White Sox, giving up three runs and nine hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and Addison Reed earned his career-high 30th save in 35 chances.
Albers (2-1) was dazzling in his first two starts, making use of a mid-80s fastball, changeup and slow curve to get ahead of hitters. But he struggled to get strike one against the Chicago early Saturday and allowed five runs and eight hits in seven innings.
Chicago snapped Albers’ scoreless streak — a record for a Twins starter to begin a career — with a run in the first after Alexei Ramirez’s fly ball to center field was lost in the sun. De Aza, who opened with a single, went to third on the play and scored on Paul Konerko’s RBI groundout.
“The sky played a little havoc with us today and cost us a couple of runs, and there you have it,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Albers had two outs in the fourth before allowing four straight runners to reach base, concluding with Viciedo’s homer to left. But he retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced to reach the seventh inning for the third time in three starts.
“The streak was great while it was going on,” Albers said. “It was awesome to have those two nights. They’re pretty special, and who knows if that will ever happen again. You see today how quickly things can change, and it’s one of those things where you’ve got to get some breaks for it to happen like that.”
Adam Dunn had three hits for the White Sox after left fielder Josh Willingham lost another high pop-up in the eighth, giving Chicago a 6-3 lead.
“Just didn’t see it,” Willingham said.
“Some unfortunate stuff,” Gardenhire said. “What are you going to do? You lose the ball. You can’t see it, it’s hard to catch. That’s the way it is these time of nights and both teams have to deal with it, and we end up losing.”
Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer in the Twins’ eighth off Nate Jones. Minnesota homered for the 10th straight game, its longest streak since 11 consecutive in August 2007.
Joe Mauer doubled and drove in two runs for the Twins, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Willingham, Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon all finished with two hits and scored a run. Florimon had just one hit in his previous 26 at-bats.
NOTES: Twins 1B Justin Morneau pinch-hit in the ninth, but didn’t start for the first time since July 11 with Sale on the mound. … Minnesota agreed to terms with INF Brad Boyer of the St. Paul Saints independent league team on Saturday. Boyer, 29, is hitting .337 with seven home runs and 50 RBIs in 78 games. The former draft pick of the Seattle Mariners (2005, 14th round) and San Francisco Giants (2006, 13th round) will report to Double-A New Britain. The Twins have had success with independent league signees, including Albers, LHP Caleb Thielbar also from the Saints and recently demoted Chris Colabello. … Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.37 ERA) will try to win for the first time since June 21 as he takes the mound for the White Sox on Sunday. The lefty is 0-2 in his last nine starts. The Twins will counter with Samuel Deduno (7-6, 3.54 ERA).
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