2020 OOTP sim: Keuchel's complete game makes it two in a row over first-place Twins
MINNEAPOLIS — In last night's series opener against the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox and Dylan Cease poured some water over the sizzling Twins and took the opening game by a score of 4-2.
Disappointed with their finale against the Colorado Rockies, the White Sox came into Minnesota prepared. Ready to establish a winning streak, Dallas Keuchel and the Good Guys were ready to keep the pressure on the A.L. Central's top team.
Before the Sox's starting pitching could come into motion, Eloy Jiménez blasted a 431-foot shot to left field in the first, after Leury García and Yoán Moncada opened the game with strikeouts.
Keuchel cruised through the first inning, but he did allow Jorge Polanco to extend his 11-game hit streak to 12 on a single in the second inning.
Carrying a .178 batting average into the top of the third inning, the reigning batting champ, Tim Anderson, doubled to begin the third, but he remained stranded on the basepaths. Luckily, he has been hitting up in this series, as he looks to raise his BA into something more respectable.
The Twins were able to score a run off of Dallas in the bottom of the third. Max Kepler led the inning off with his own leadoff double, and Jake Cave followed with a single. Alex Avila's 6-4-3 double play grounder tied the game at one.
The Twins struck again in the bottom of the fifth. Keuchel gave up doubles to Polanco and Kepler to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.
Luckily, in the later innings, the White Sox found their offensive mojo. Top of the sixth, Eloy and Edwin Encarnación took back-to-back walks from Matt Wisler. The runners moved to second and third after an elusive balk. Zack Collins made the best of his first start back with the White Sox by securing a base hit to tie the game 2-2, and Luis Robert followed with an RBI single of his own to give the Sox a 3-2 lead!
As per usual, Keuchel took care of business in the bottom half of the frame.
The seventh inning came, and the White Sox were looking for a few insurance runs. Leury snagged an infield hit, and YoYo singled to begin the rally. With runners on the corners, Eloy's 4-3 ground out moved Moncada to second to put ducks on the pond. An EE single and wild pitch later, and the Sox had extended their lead to 5-2. Yasmani Grandal was given an intentional walk, so after striking out in his first two at-bats, Collins made the most of his second two at-bats: Just like his third, Collins hit an RBI single to give the Sox a 6-2 lead. Robert capped off the burst by grounding out to score Yasmani.
The Sox batted around, with four runs as their bounty.
The Twins attempted to chip away on the 7-2 lead, but they only found two more runs during the rest of the ball game. Both runs came in the eighth inning, via three singles and a ground out.
With that being said, Keuchel finished the game on only 102 pitches! The Sox winning back-to-back games as the third team in the A.L. Central makes the division look a little more interesting, as they are having success against the division's first-place club.
Appropriately, Keuchel is the night's player of the game. The Sox sit at 25-26, and they will look to be .500 in tomorrow's afternoon Out of the Park simulated game. I'll have the coverage for you, as the White Sox can hopefully begin their march upward.