Liam Hendriks’ disastrous first inning was only the beginning of the Twins’ pitching problems.
CHICAGO – Liam Hendriks was dejected. Pedro Florimon was ejected.
And the Twins’ 12-1 loss to the White Sox on Monday was rather unexpected.
The Twins have handled Chicago most of the season, and they have played better on the road of late than at home. But Chicago batters hit everything Hendriks threw to the plate in the first inning, crushed him for seven runs, and piled on with power later. It was the eighth time this season the Twins have given up double-digit runs. It was the 30th time they have scored zero or one run in a game. The Twins still lead the season series 10-7 but Monday’s loss was no contest.
“They put up a touchdown in the first inning, and there you go,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire credited Cole De Vries for replacing Hendriks and eating up five innings. But he gave up four runs on three homers as the White Sox pulled away in a laugher. About 960 tails wagged in the stands — from four-legged fans in attendance for the annual Dog Day promotion.
Hendriks said he felt good before the game, but it all changed once he got to the mound. Pitches were left over the middle of the plate. He hit the outside corner when aiming for the inside corner. Hendriks walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up RBI singles to Conor Gillaspie and Paul Konerko. Adam Dunn flew out to deep center field (just wait), Dayan Viciedo hit an RBI single, Jordan Danks walked, Gordon Beckham hit an RBI single. It was 4-0 and it was on.
Hendriks walked in another run and Gardenhire brought out the hook.
“That’s not me,” Hendriks said. “I’m better than that. And I know that and I need to prove to everyone that I am.”
In two-thirds of an inning, Hendriks’ season ERA rose from 5.25 to 6.87. His career ERA rose from 5.60 to 6.01, as he’s 2-13 in 28 career outings. Hendriks’ next turn in the rotation will be discussed by the coaching staff.
“Even when I was trying to relax, it wasn’t working,” Hendriks said. “It was one of those nights where everything I did was terrible, just terrible.”
De Vries put up two scoreless innings before Dunn and Viciedo hit back-to-back home runs off him in the fourth inning. The White Sox have hit back-to-back homers three times this season — all coming against the Twins.
Florimon struck out looking in the seventh, and didn’t agree with the call by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.
“I said the pitch was inside,” Florimon said.
Florimon played defense in the bottom of the seventh but told Marquez, while on his way back to the dugout at the end of the inning, that he was going to check a replay of the pitch. That’s when Marquez tossed him. Florimon didn’t know until after he looked at replays and returned to the field.
“I just said I was going to look at it — in Spanish,” Florimon said. “I don’t know why he threw me out.”