Bullpen and Defense Struggle In Twins First Loss

Hughes strong, Twins beat White Sox to improve to 4-0

Hughes strong, Twins beat White Sox to improve to 4-0

One year after a awful start that saw Minnesota lose its first nine games, the Twins are 4-1 and can still take this series from the White Sox (2-2).

"It helps when the team's scoring runs for you early", White Sox right-hander James Shields said after allowing one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings. The White Sox went back-to-back when Geovany Soto lined Justin Haley's pitch over the fence in left field for his third home run of the season.

"I think every player is trying to prove themselves every single day", Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. He told me this spring that he wants to strike out less often without losing his power, and he specifically mentioned Miguel Cabrera as a prototype to emulate. Though it's early, he's shown signs he could be ready to break through in 2017.

Garcia was 3 for 4 on the day and is 8 for 16 this season.

"I was able to minimize damage and be under control", Gonzalez said. "I lost a lot of weight and I feel more alive and more confident".

Hughes (1-0) made his first start since June 9, 2016, and allowed one run and five hits, struck out three and walked none.

Santana (2-0) held the White Sox to two singles and lowered his ERA to 0.69.

It wasn't a flawless start for Gonzalez, but he looked sharp in his first action of 2017. "I think he's done a better job actually. That kept me in the game".

"I'm not really too enthused about the prospect of him going much past 100 (pitches), if at all past", Twins manager Paul Molitor said after a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

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Adalberto Mejia started his first game in a Twins uniform. First pitch is at 1:10. To start the second, he walked Todd Frazier on a 14-pitch at-bat. He hasn't delivered much power in the past, although it might be worth pointing out that he came to spring training a year ago looking significantly more muscular than he had in the past.

Mejia didn't blame that at-bat for what happened the rest of his outing.

"It didn't take anything out of me", Mejia insisted. "I just had to focus and make sure I was throwing strikes and I was doing that up on the mound". He has continued to play stellar defense for the Twins.

Minnesota, which was praised by Molitor before the game for its clean play, made two errors, and one in the second directly led to a run.

"You can't say too many superlatives, but he makes it look easy at times", Molitor said. "Today was a different story". "We try to take care of (the) pitcher, every night and day in our rotation". His only mistake of the game was a long two run homer allowed to Twins' backstop Jason Castro. Sano went 2 for 4 with a double and is 7 for 20 (.350) with two home runs this season. He escaped further trouble, however, getting his third save after Taylor Rogers, Ryan Pressly and Matt Belisle relieved Santana (2-0).

Those blasts came on consecutive pitches, a 90-mph fastball and an 85-mph slider, as the Twins' bullpen saw its season-opening scoreless streak end at 16⅓ innings.

Quintana was shelled for six runs on five hits, including three home runs, while walking three over 5 1/3 innings of work in a 6-3 loss to the Tigers.

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