By Nate Gotlieb
Starting pitcher Hector Noesi posted arguably his best pitching performance of the season, and Chicago's offense generated 11 hits as the White Sox defeated the Twins 5-2 on Thursday at Target Field.
Center fielder Adam Eaton led the White Sox (49-54) with three hits, and Noesi (5-7) pitched a season-high 7.2 innings and allowed just two runs helping Chicago snap a two-game losing streak.
“With Hector, the way he threw tonight, it was great,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “You feel a little shorthanded with [relief pitcher Zach] Putnam on the DL. Things get mixed up in there, and you’re looking for some length. It was better than just the length. He was sharp all night.”
The White Sox’s offense had struggled in losses to the Royals in its previous two games, managing just two runs on 14 hits.
The White Sox hit early and often Thursday, however, and posted eight hits in the first five innings.
Eaton scored the first run of the game in the third inning. He doubled down the left-field line with two outs and scored on an Alexei Ramirez single. Eaton later added an RBI single with two outs in the fourth inning. With an 0-2 count, he slapped a Samuel Deduno curveball up the middle, after swinging and missing on a curveball on the previous pitch.
“[I] kind of just said, ‘let's just see it, use your hands, put it in play,’” Eaton said. “When he threw [the curveball] to me again, I saw it a little bit better.”
The hit capped a three-run inning for the White Sox. The inning started when Adam Dunn hit a sharp ground ball off Twins starter Phil Hughes. Hughes left the game with a right-shin contusion and was later listed as day-to-day. He gave up two earned runs in three innings and took the loss dropping to 10-7 on the season.
The White Sox took a 5-0 lead in the sixth on a run from second baseman Gordon Beckham. Beckham led off the inning with a double to left-center field and scored on a throwing error by Deduno.
Noesi allowed just one hit and one walk through seven innings. He gave up a two-run home run to Twins center fielder Danny Santana in the eighth, causing Ventura to replace him with Daniel Webb.
Jake Petricka pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the White Sox, earning his fifth save of the year. Ventura said Petricka, arguably the White Sox top relief pitcher this season, could see more ninth-inning action because of the injury to Putnam.
The win snapped Chicago’s five-game losing streak against the Twins (46-55), the last-place team in the AL Central.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 14 with a double in the fifth inning. The first baseman has hit safely in 32 of his past 33 games.