First, it looked like a local-kid-makes-good story. Then the White Sox offense spoiled the party.
CHICAGO - Twins righthander Cole De Vries struck out the first batter of his major league career and got through the first inning giving up just a walk. He seemed to ignore the extra deck on the stadium he was pitching in, and size and track record of some of the hitters he was facing.
That's what it looked like, at least.
"The game, at times, was moving a little fast," he said, "with where my emotions were at."
He had 14 friends and family members in the stands, and a team behind him that needed him to pitch deep into the game. De Vries almost made it, but the matchup of him against White Sox hitters on a breezy Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field was too much.
Chicago chased De Vries in the sixth inning on its way to a 11-8 victory to dampen his major league debut. The White Sox pounded five home runs, three off De Vries, and needed almost all of them, as the Twins got two homers from Justin Morneau and one from Joe Mauer. The Twins headed back to the Twin Cities after a successful 5-3 road trip but dropped two of three to Chicago.
"I try to be a positive person," said De Vries, who was called up from Class AAA Rochester on Tuesday and reported to the Twins with his gear in an old Gophers equipment bag. "I went out there and competed the best I could. Given it being my first time and high emotions, I thought I did pretty well."
De Vries gave up six runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out four. At least he can say his debut came on the same night rapper Snoop Dogg showed up and threw out the first pitch.
De Vries' major league career began with a strike thrown to Alejandro De Aza. He became the 33rd former Gophers player to appear in a major league game and the 14th to appear for the Twins. He walked Adam Dunn in the inning but got out of his first major league inning without giving up a run.
Things were different in the second, when former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski homered to right to give the White Sox an early 1-0 lead.
Jamey Carroll's RBI single tied the score in the third, but Chicago scored three unearned runs in the third after Alexi Casilla mishandled a grounder. De Vries gave up a two-run double to Rios in the inning.
The Twins scored four in the fifth to give De Vries a 5-4 lead. Mauer hit his second homer of the season and Brian Dozier added a two-run single, though he was later thrown out at the plate. De Vries struck out two in the fifth and was sent back out for the sixth. Paul Konerko, batting .384, and Alex Rios hit back-to-back homers, giving the White Sox a 6-5 lead and chasing De Vries.
"Cole did OK," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He got a couple balls up in the sixth and they went flying. But he battled pretty good."
Brian Duensing replaced De Vries but struggled, giving up a grand slam to De Aza that made it 10-5 and helped Chicago pull away. Righthander Nate Jones won in relief of starter Philip Humber, who was knocked out in the fifth. The ex-Twin hasn't won a decision since his perfect game against Seattle on April 21.
De Vries will get another chance to start. Perhaps the butterflies will be gone then. And he will likely be at Target Field, where deep fly balls perish.
"This is definitely a whole new territory," he said of his first game as a major leaguer, "but it was a whole lot of fun."
|Utah Valley U||64|
|(5) South Carolina||67|
|(14) NC State||79|
|(11) Penn State||82|
|(2) Notre Dame||83|
|(19) Michigan State||61|
|(13) North Carolina||73||FINAL|
|(15) Texas A&M||86|
|San Diego State||46||FINAL|
|San Jose St||80||FINAL|