Twins take series with 3-1 win vs. White Sox, Farmer hit in face by pitch
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sonny Gray threw five scoreless innings in a third straight strong start to open the season for the Minnesota Twins, outdueling Lucas Giolito to beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Wednesday.
The Twins won their third series out of four behind another sharp performance from a thriving rotation that ranks second in the major leagues in ERA, with Gray (2-0) piggybacking on a gem by Pablo López on Tuesday night.
Gray gave up three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He was pulled after only 78 pitches after lowering his ERA to 0.53. Jhoan Duran finished the ninth for his third save after allowing a two-out homer to Lenyn Sosa.
The only setback for the Twins was yet another injury, when shortstop Kyle Farmer left the game in the fourth after being hit in the face with a fastball from Giolito.
The initial diagnosis was announced by the Twins as a jaw injury after the 92 mph pitch from Giolito ran inside and knocked Farmer to the dirt. Farmer laid face down for a few minutes as the Twins tended to him, before he climbed to his feet and walked slowly to the dugout with a towel pressed against his face and his head hunched down.
Giolito (0-1) got back on track after a nightmarish turn at Pittsburgh last week, when he gave up 12 hits, seven runs and two homers in four innings. The right-hander struck out seven Twins in six innings, his only run allowed on a bases-loaded groundout by Michael Taylor that scored Ryan Jeffers.
Jeffers started the fourth with a gracious triple when right fielder Gavin Sheets retreated for a routine fly ball, got his feet tangled and tumbled to the grass. He was lying down as the ball landed behind him. Taylor’s one-out check swing bounced the ball to first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who bobbled it after stepping on the base — potentially costing him the chance to throw home for a double play.
The White Sox had a rough time in the field all week, with their 4-3 loss in 10 innings the day before ending on a throwing error by third baseman Hanser Alberto. They were charged with three errors in the game on Monday afternoon.
Willi Castro had an RBI double and Taylor had an RBI single in the ninth when the Twins tacked on two insurance runs.
Edouard Julien made his major league debut for the Twins at second base, promoted from Triple-A St. Paul after Joey Gallo became the fourth regular position player on the injured list. The 23-year-old native of Quebec City was ranked this year by MLB.com as the fourth-best prospect in the organization. Julien was an 18th-round draft pick in 2019 out of Auburn. He wore No. 47, the same as former third baseman Corey Koskie, a fellow Canadian.
White Sox: Alberto played 3B for Yoán Moncada (back trouble) for the third straight game.
Twins: With four regular position players already on the injured list, SS Carlos Correa (mid-back spasms) missed his fourth straight game. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Correa would likely return to the lineup on Thursday and not need to be placed on the IL.
White Sox: After a day off, RHP Mike Clevinger (2-0, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound for the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore on Friday night. The Orioles have not announced their starter.
Twins: RHP Joe Ryan (2-0, 3.75 ERA) pitches in New York on Thursday night to open a four-game series. RHP Jhony Brito (2-0, 0.90 ERA) starts for the Yankees.
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