Minnesota singles cruise sinks Cease; Twins sweep Sox, 10-5

“All the Single Base Hits: Now put your bats up!” (Dylan Cease Remix feat. Beyoncé & Weird Al Yankovic) (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

In the seventh and final game of this homestand hosting both former Washington Senators clubs, Dylan Cease got a introduction to Ozzie Guillén’s nemesis “Los Pirañas,” who jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead, and the Senators Ver. 1.0 swept the Southside Nine by a score of 10-5.

The Twins, bored of bashing homers and clubbing opponents into submission, decided to torture poor Cease by flipping the script, starting the game with five consecutive singles and jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. Cease nearly got out of the jam by pulling a Buehrle and snagging a Jake Cave ground ball between his legs, pirouetting, and doing this:

Unfortunately, the Sox needed one more out to stop the bleeding and up came C. J. Cron to deliver (what else?) a single to center field, and the Good Guys were down 4-0 before José Berríos had a chance to teach Dylan a thing or two.

Cease picked up where he left off in the second inning, giving up single number seven, then a walk (Twins fatigue from all those swings I guess), and then Mighty Nelson Cruz bowed his neck and SMASHED poked a grounder up the box which Dylan graciously deflected past Yolmer into center field for a two-run (all together now…) single, the eighth consecutive to start the game.

Suddenly realizing they were dragging this game along, the Twins returned to form and led off the third inning with back-to-back jacks from the Law Offices of Cron & Cave (You Need My Mang!) and Ricky finally got the hint and pulled Dylan from the first complete butt-whooping of his Sox career. It was the first time this year that Cease did not stay in the game for at least five innings.

The Good Guys offense (yeah, they were allowed to hit in-between the downpour of singles) was not much to write about for the first four innings. Two frames ended on double plays, in addition to squandering a runners-on-second-and-third-base opportunity in the fourth inning — as Berríos struck out Yoán Moncada and James McCann to end the threat.

Finally, in the fifth, Chicago got to see the Berríos that got roughed up by the Detroit Tigers. The Sox led off with three straight hits resulting in a Yolmer Sánchez single that cut the lead to 9-1 Twins (baby steps, OK?)

The feeling’s mutual, Yolmer!

However, the South Siders’ crippling lack of depth arrived as Adam Engel (strikeout), Leury García (fielder’s choice, catching Yolmer in a pickle), and Goins (4-3 GO) could not keep the line moving despite some #WILDPITCHOFFENSE chipping the lead further, to 9-2.

Despite the wonderfully refreshing optimism on the gamethread exuding from my colleague Ashley Sanders, the rest of the game flowed as blowouts often do: Jimmy “Gun Show” Cordero pitches (👎🏽), Eloy RBI single (!), Cave homers (again), Hector Santiago reminds the Sox why he was available for the third time (3 IP, 1 HR, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), Goins hits the third inning-ending double play for the Sox, singles were hit by both teams, Jorge Polanco played the role of the absent Tim Anderson and booted two grounders in the ninth inning, and mercifully, the Sox committed the final three outs necessary to end a regulation length, nine-inning game, losing to the Twins 10-5.

Woof. That was as they say in the business: “A Rough One”. In a direct rebuke of the Year of the Long Ball, there were a whopping 28 combined hits and (whips out my old TI-83 calculator) 21 SINGLES in this game. The Sox get minor kudos for at least putting up a fight, scaring this writer into thinking a flood of ninth-inning runs would have scrapped this whole recap entirely.

But, a sweep is what the Sox deserved today and it’s probably for the best that they skip town for a while. By the time the team returns next Friday, the Bears will (hopefully) be 1-0 and (mega, super duper hopefully) a certain Cuban outfielder will come back with the Sox as well. The Sox fall to 60-73 and the Twins keep pace with Cleveland and go to 82-51.

Thanks again, and we will see you back here at South Side Hit Pen for tomorrow night’s tilt against the Atlanta Braves! Game time is 6:05 PM CT, and Janice Scurio will provide more great Sox coverage for you and the kids.

As Douglas Adams so beautifully wrote:

Don’t Panic.