It was home run derby night at Guaranteed Rate Field, as the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox combined to go deep nine times in tonight's ballgame. Unfortunately for the Twins, a few more left the yard for the White Sox than themselves, as they were blown out by a score of 13 to 3.
Josh Donaldson Sends Message Back to White Sox
It is no secret that Josh Donaldson has been very outspoken against the use of foreign substances by pitchers to gain an advantage. After homering off of Lucas Giolito in the top of the first, Donaldson made a gesture as he crossed home plate referencing the sticky substances, presumably calling out Giolito.
Giolito shared some choice words about Donaldson in an interview after the game, to which Donaldson responded before today’s game where he referenced how Giolito’s spin rates have declined since the new ban went into effect, and said Giolito was “probably cheating”.
Donaldson followed that message by homering in the first inning for the second game in a row against the White Sox, and his third game overall.
Bailey Ober Struggles Again Against the White Sox
It has been a so-so start to Bailey Ober’s career, but if you remove the starts against the White Sox, it has not been that bad as he has a 3.63 ERA in those four starts. Unfortunately, however, that is not how stats work and the starts against the White Sox do indeed count.
In tonight’s ballgame Ober got off to a good start, as he sent the White Sox down 1-2-3 in the first. However, that quickly came to an end as the White Sox took Ober deep twice in the second inning, and scored a quick three runs to take a lead that they would not surrender. The White Sox touched up Ober again in the third, this time it was reigning AL MVP Jose Abrue taking him deep.
Ober went back out for the fourth, with the Twins still very much in the ballgame, down three. He began the inning with a leadoff walk to Brian Goodwin, and then a one out single from Gavin Sheets put runners on the corners, and that was the end of the night for Ober. Matt Shoemaker came in to replace Ober, and gave up a sac fly off the bat of Andrew Vaughn, giving the White Sox a 5-1 lead before getting out of the inning.
White Sox Tee Off on Matt Shoemaker
With the Twins down four, Rocco Baldelli was hoping to get some length out of Matt Shoemaker. The White Sox, like many teams before them this season, saw Shoemaker on the mound as an opportunity for some live batting practice. After getting an out to begin the inning, Shoemaker gave up a single to Yoan Moncada, and followed that up by hitting Jose Abreu with a curveball. This set the table for Yasmani Grandal, who blasted a three-run home run, effectively busting this game wide open. Despite a pimp job by Grandal, the ball barely cleared the fence, and initially appeared to be robbed by Nick Gordon who had the ball in his glove, before the force of colliding with the wall knocked the ball out of his glove and over the fence for a home run.
After giving up that home run, the fifth inning was still far from over for Shoemaker. He did get another quick out, but then gave up a walk before surrendering a home run to Gavin Sheets, the first of his MLB career.
Shoemaker the allowed three straight singles to Andrew Vaughn, Leury Garcia and Tim Anderson, with Vaughn scoring on the Anderson single giving the White Sox the 11-1 lead.
After finally getting out of the fifth, Shoemaker came back out to pitch the sixth and things did not go much better as he walked Jose Abreu to leadoff the inning before giving up a second home run to Yasmani Grandal, this time it was a no-doubter.
Nelson Cruz Hits a Mammoth Home Run
With the game well out of reach, about the only thing left for the Twins to do tonight was work on their stats, and Nelson Cruz did just that in the top of the sixth as he crushed a pitch 453 feet deep into the left-centerfield bleachers.
Gilberto Celestino Joins Home Run Derby
After coming into the game in the sixth as a defensive replacement, Gilberto Celestino made the most of his one plate appearance in tonight’s ballgame, as he went deep to centerfield for his second home run of the season.