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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Another Minnesota nightmare

May 18, 2003 at Minnesota

Today's temperature:
"Went with the hot hand in Gordon, but this game could have been put away long ago."

Short Take: Loaiza battles, bullpen gives away "W"

Again, the Sox needed another solid start.  And again, they got one, but this time out of Esteban Loaiza, who clearly didn't have his best stuff, but still battled every inning to keep his Sox in the game.  Unfortunately, the Sox's nightmares in Minnesota continued, as Tom Gordon gave up two runs in the bottom of the 8th to close the door on a sweep as the Sox lost, 3-2.

Loaiza showed why he came into the game with a 7-1 record.  He battled all game, only having one 1-2-3 inning in the six full ones he threw.  He was constantly in trouble, facing a runner in scoring position with less than two out in three innings.  On the other side of the coin, the Sox blew opportunity after opportunity en route to the loss.

It looked good early though.  In the White Sox 3rd, Joe Crede lead off with a double to deep right.  After Miguel Olivo  and D'Angelo Jimenez failed to get him over, Jose Valentin took care of business driving an absolute bomb off the Metrodome's upper deck to give Loaiza a 2-0 lead.

It looked to be all he needed, as he continued to scratch and claw all game long.  In the 2nd, he had Doug Mientkiewicz at third with an out and shut down Minnesota.  In the fourth, he faced Jacque Jones at first and Denny Hocking at second with no outs.  After two quick outs, a walk to Todd Sears loaded them up for Torii Hunter before Loaiza shut Minnesota down again with a big K.  In the fifth, the Twins finally drew blood, as Denny Hocking doubled to lead off the inning and was advanced on a Cristian Guzman ground out and came around to score on a single by Sears that just scooted past Jimenez.

As for the Sox, they were busy keeping the Twins in the game.  In the fifth, with Jimenez, Valentin, and Frank Thomas on base with two outs, Magglio Ordonez hit a soft grounder to second to end the threat.  In the 7th, Olivo started the inning out with a single, moved to second on a sac bunt by Jimenez and cruised into third on a Kyle Lohse wild pitch.  A walk to Valentin set up a LaTroy Hawkins-Frank Thomas duel.  And, of course, Thomas meekly grounded into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.

But it all came apart in the 8th.  After Gordon came into relieve Damaso Marte, the Twins went to work.  Hunter singled and was moved to third on a Dustan Mohr single.  In regular Sox bullpen fashion, Gordon allowed Hunter to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at two.  After Bobby Kielty was intentionally walked to set up the double play, Gordon induced a grounder out of pinch hitter, A.J. Pierzysnki.  Only problem was Valentin threw the ball away trying to turn the second out, allowing pinch runner Luis Rivas to come home with the winning run.

The Sox tried to make it interesting in the ninth.  Crede walked with one out and was lifted for Willie Harris.  After a long at bat (and eventual strike out) by Olivo, Jimenez kept the game alive with an infield single to deep short, but Tony Graffanino struck out as Eddie Guardado ended the game.

The loss drops the Sox 5 games behind the Twins, who overtook Kansas City after they were swept by Toronto this weekend.  Yes, the same Toronto who comes to visit U.S. Cellular Field starting tomorrow.   Detroit can't get here fast enough, can they?

WSI's Tinkerer Update: Maggs in center again, Daubach gets the start in right today.  Tony Graffanino pinch hits for Valentin (yes, the only guy to drive in any runs today).

submitted by doublem23.

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click" Winner

Esteban Loaiza

  Didn't have his best stuff today, but at least it looked likehe wanted to avoid a sweep.  Too bad no one else came to play with him.

Play WSI's Pick to Click Contest!

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Totally Biased Game Recaps

September 29... The Last (And Lost) Weekend

September 24... Covey Captivates, but Kluber Cruises

September 22... At Least They Won't Clinch Here

September 18...Klubered, but Not Clobbered

September 16... Baltimore Blanked

September 10... Thrown Away

September 8... Anaheim Annihilation

September 3... Power Special

September 1... 18 Strikeouts Later, the White Sox Lose

August 30...Leaky Bullpen Bombed by Boston

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