Well, at least it was fast. The Twins didn't prolong the agony Saturday, taking only two hours, 30 minutes to get steamrolled 7-0 by the White Sox.

A homestand that started with some degree of optimism has imploded, with one game remaining Sunday. The ugly numbers: The White Sox, looking like the 1927 Yankees against the Twins' unfortunate pitching, have pounded out 42 hits and scored 21 runs through the first three games of the series. The Twins' hapless hitters have managed 18 hits and seven runs. Yes, Chris Sale was magnificent, striking out 12 and allowing only four singles and a double. But the Twins just looked inept.

Logan Darnell, in his first major-league start, was game. But after striking out four of the first nine batters, the Sox caught up to him. Ryan Pressly pitched three solid innings, allowing only one hit.

Darnell on his start: "That's not really how you picture it. I started off pretty good. Later in the game, the aggression I knew was going to come happened, and I just didn't make enough good pitches with two strikes. (On Alexei Ramirez's home run), the slider down wasn't down enough. In other situations, (pitches) just weren't good enough; they weren't down enough or they weren't away enough. They weren't bad pitches, they just weren't as good as they should have been.''

A few notes from the game:

--The Twins are now a season-low 11 games under .500 (46-57).

--Sale lowered his ERA to 1.88 and improved to 10-1. He is the first White Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle (2005) to win 10 of his first 11 decisions. He has struck out 10 or more batters in five games this season and 15 times in his career; that career mark ties him with Juan Pizarro for the second-most in White Sox history behind Ed Walsh (17).

--Jose Abreu singled off Glen Perkins in the ninth to keep his hitting streak going, extending it to 16 games.

--Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-4 and has a three-game hit streak. He also has a five-game hitting streak against Chicago.

I'll be back again tomorrow. La Velle and Phil will return next week, though I suspect La Velle is going to find it mighty hard to leave Cooperstown.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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