CHICAGO – As Oswaldo Arcia ran toward the foul line in the bottom of the ninth, he had a sudden moment of panic. “The only thing that came to [my] mind is, ‘Oh my God, where did that ball go?’ ” Arcia said through interpreter and teammate Chris Colabello.
He wasn’t the only one. Colabello turned and lost Dayen Viciedo’s popup, too, and Brian Dozier overran it as he raced over to help. All three watched helplessly as the ball plunked down a foot inside the foul line, with Viciedo racing toward second base with the tying run. Arcia pounced on the ball and threw it, but the ball and the runner arrived at the same moment, and Pedro Florimon couldn’t keep the ball from scooting past. Viciedo jumped up, hustled to third, and a few feet away, Twins closer Glen Perkins had one unhappy thought.
“Here we go again,” he said afterward. “Another ball not hit hard, but it goes for a hit.”
Same thing happened to him Wednesday, when the White Sox used some well-place hits to score twice and ruin Perkins’ first save opportunity.
“Give credit to Perk, though,” Colabello said. “He made the pitches he had to.”
Actually, one of them, a 1-0 fastball to Alexei Ramirez, was smashed on a line, the hardest-hit ball Perkins has given up so far. But it sizzled directly into Florimon’s glove, his perfect placement preventing another blown save.
“Funny how it works. They get a popup that goes for a double and a line drive that goes for an out,” Perkins said. “Baseball’s got some luck. There’s luck involved, good and bad.”
His next pitch was chopped to third by pinch hitter Paul Konerko, and the Twins’ first win was clinched.
‘I like this weather’
Josmil Pinto might have been the only person in the stadium happy about the 35-degree weather. Teammates such as Arcia and Eduardo Escobar covered themselves with winter gear, but “I like this weather,” said the Venezuelan catcher. “It was a little bit cold, but sometimes you need to have a strong mind. … I hate it when it’s hot because I sweat, sweat, sweat.”
He made the White Sox sweat in the eighth inning Thursday by fouling off three pitches, then drilling a line drive into the White Sox bullpen, Minnesota’s first home run of the year. Not that he knew it at the time.
“I was not really sure, with the wind, and this is a big stadium,” the rookie catcher said.
“So I hit the ball and started running. I said, ‘OK, get to second base, try to hit at least a double.’ Then I see the ball go over the fence.”
Pinto’s solo shot tied the game, though both teams regained the lead before it was over. “It was like boom, boom, up and down,” he said of the wild game. “Crazy how it happened.”
• The Twins scored 19 runs in the series but allowed 21. They were outhomered 6-1.
• Phil Hughes threw 97 pitches in only five innings in his Twins debut, allowing four runs and two homers. One of those homers was by Alejandro De Aza, who homered twice off Ricky Nolasco on Monday.
• Joe Mauer singled to left in the fifth inning, ending an 0-for-10 streak to open the season. He took strike three in the ninth inning on a pitch that looked low and outside, and jawed with home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor about the call.