Doubling up: Joe Crede drove in the first run of the game with a double to center field. (@TheSoxSide)
While there were 25 hits in this game, there were only four runs. Timely hitting was hard to come by, but the White Sox found just enough, while the Twins did not.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, though hitters weren’t exactly overpowered by starters Orlando Hernández and Brad Radke. During the first four innings, nobody scored, though scoring threats were plentiful. In the bottom of the first, the White Sox managed to put runners on the corners with no outs, but Radke escaped the jam. In the top of the second, the Twins put runners on the corners with no outs, but Hernández wiggled out of it. In the fourth, the Twins put runners on first and second, but Michael Cuddyer grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, the Twins put runners on the corners with two outs, but a 1-3 groundout ended it, so the score remained 0-0.
In the bottom of the fifth, the White Sox finally broke the ice. A.J. Pierzynski led off with a single, which set the table for Joe Crede. Crede hit a line drive to deep center, which Torii Hunter made an uncharacteristically poor read on. Initially, Hunter started running in on Crede’s liner, which made it impossible for him to make the catch. Pierzynski scored, and Crede ended up at second. Crede went on to score on a sacrifice fly by Scott Podsednik to make it 2-0.
In the sixth, the Twins squandered a scoring opportunity yet again, and Paul Konerko added an insurance run with a solo homer. Incredibly, Konerko already has seven home runs this season, and he is slashing .260/.315/.700.
The bullpen did a great job holding the Twins’ bats in check, so the White Sox did not need any more insurance. Southpaw Damaso Marte retired the only two batters he faced to record the save, his first of the year. The only hiccup for the bullpen came when Shingo Takatsu allowed a double to Shannon Stewart and a single to Matt LeCroy. LeCroy’s RBI single resulted in the Twins’ only run.
Don’t look now, but after this victory, the White Sox have the best record in the American League (10-4). Meanwhile, the Twins have sole possession of second place in the AL Central (8-6). Tomorrow (April 20, 2005), the White Sox will open a two-game series at Comerica Park, as they will take on the Tigers. Jon Garland and Wil Ledezma will be the probable starting pitchers.
Let’s take a look at a couple of trivia questions, shall we?
- Tonight, Orlando Hernández allowed 10 hits but did not allow any runs. No White Sox pitcher has done that since 1984. Who was that 1984 pitcher?
- This player, who led the 1983 AL West champions in stolen bases, also led them in postseason hits.
- Richard Dotson (To be exact, Dotson allowed 11 hits and somehow escaped every jam unscathed)
- Rudy Law (77 stolen bases that year, which is still a franchise record, and it will probably stand for a very long time)