2020 OOTP sim: Madrigal's bomb in the 12th secures another win over Minny

Brett Ballantini

CHICAGO — On the heels of a rare setback against a Twins team they've dominated in 2020, the White Sox sent out ace Lucas Giolito to right the ship. 

Giolito, who entered Saturday at 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, did not disappoint, hurling 7 ⅓ innings of six-hit ball. Two of the hits were homers, which accounted for two earned, but with just a walk against nine Ks and a 66 game score, the starter did his job.

And the White Sox offense — eventually — did its job, too. 

On a beautiful, 74-degree night buffeted by a nice cross-breeze, the homers were flying out of Sox Park. Miguel Saño accounted for an early one, getting the Twins off to a 1-0 lead in the second, but the White Sox counterpunched with an Edwin Encarnación blast to left that hugged the foul poll in the bottom half and a Zack Collins 454-footer to right-center in the third to put the White Sox up, 2-1.

In the fifth, a Tim Anderson sac fly pushed the lead to two, halved when Jake Cave homered in the seventh.

The next inning, Giolito's pitched started to pile up on him, and Tony Watson came in to save the day, walking a batter but then snuffing any sniff of a rally by punching out Nelson Cruz and Sanó.

Fortunes flipped in the ninth, however, when Jorge Polanco sent a first-pitch homer out to left off of Watson, knotting the game and summoning Pat Venditte from the pen.

In extras, both clubs had chances. In the 10th, the White Sox sought to tie things up with a two-out rally. Nomar Mazara singled down the left-field line, Nick Madrigal pinch-running. Yasmani Grandal pinch-hit for Collins and walked. But with two on, Anderson whiffed, and the game dragged on.

With two outs the 11th, it was Minny's turn, as Evan Marshall took over for Venditte and surrendered a Polanco double and Cave infield hit. but with runners on the corners Marshall coaxed a lazy fly from Willams Astudillo, and the crisis was averted. 

Remember Madrigal pinch-running in the 10th? Well, two innings later the chickens came to roost with that move. With two outs, Yasiel Puig took one for the team, forcing Tyler Duffey's exit to the showers and summoning Sergio Romo. With the winning run on, Madrigal greeted Romo's first pitch with a 464-foot bomb to center for the walk-off, 5-3 win.

The White Sox have a tough matchup on Sunday to secure the series, as Twins ace Kenta Maeda, second in the AL in wins and fifth in ERA, takes on fifth starter Gio González.

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