Darnell, Twins Struggle Against White Sox, Sale
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It’s hard to say who had the tougher night — Logan Darnell against Chicago’s hitters, or his Minnesota teammates against White Sox ace Chris Sale.
Sale tied a season high with 12 strikeouts in eight dominant innings, Alexei Ramirez hit his 10th homer, and the White Sox beat the Twins 7-0 on Saturday night for their third straight win over the Twins.
Chicago had its way Darnell (0-1), who gave up all seven White Sox runs and 11 hits a day after being called up to fill in for injured Kyle Gibson. He struck out seven in five innings.
“It’s not really how you picture it,” Darnell said of his first big-league start.
It was the latest setback for a Twins rotation that hasn’t seen a regular starter win since the All-Star break.
“He kind of hung in there for a little bit, but when you’re facing (Sale) it’s pretty tough to give up anything,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Tonight that was one of the better nights we’ve seen out of Sale, which he has plenty of them, but that was a great night. He had great stuff.”
Sale (10-1) scattered five hits — all singles — and became the first White Sox starter to win 10 of his first 11 decisions in a season since Mark Buehrle in 2005.
“He was commanding all three pitches,” Minnesota’s Chris Colabello said. “He was around the zone getting ahead. His reputation precedes him, obviously. He’s a tough pitcher. He certainly showed why tonight.”
With one relief appearance earlier this season, Darnell started his career with 4 2-3 perfect innings. Conor Gillaspie’s double in the second inning put an end to that, and Ramirez’ two-run homer in the third made the game feel out of reach for Minnesota.
“I really wasn’t nervous,” Darnell said. “If anything I was just trying to focus on what my plan was and I thought I stayed with it, even though it didn’t really pan out the way I wanted.”
With the White Sox leading 2-0 in the fifth and Gordon Beckham on first, Ramirez hit his second homer in two nights when his drive off a changeup from Darnell hit off the foul pole in left field. The White Sox led off the next inning with four straight hits — including a run-scoring double by Tyler Flowers and an RBI single by Alejandro De Aza — to chase Darnell.
The Twins are 2-7 since the All-Star break.
“It’s tough to play from behind,” Colabello said. “Especially you lose a couple in row, you get behind again and all of a sudden negative thoughts went through your mind and it’s tough to fight those sometimes.”
NOTES: Twins GM Terry Ryan said Gibson (back) should start Tuesday at Kansas City. … 1B Joe Mauer (strained oblique) took grounders during batting practice, but did not take any swings. Gardenhire also said RHP Ricky Nolasco (elbow) is expected to throw three or four bullpen sessions over the next week. … White Sox RHP Scott Carroll (4-6), who is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his last three starts, makes his second career appearance against Minnesota when Chicago goes for the four-game sweep on Sunday. Minnesota sends Yohan Pino (1-3) to the mound to make his seventh start of the season.
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