Holland pitches White Sox to victory over Twins
CHICAGO -- Even when he was off his game, Chicago White Sox left-hander Derek Holland knew he wasn’t that far away from where he wanted to be.
Despite his struggles, Holland attempted to remain positive, believing that if he kept chipping away, everything would come together at some point.
On Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins, everything finally clicked.
Holland allowed just one run over six innings, and the White Sox gave him with plenty of offensive support in a 5-1 victory over the Twins.
“I didn’t let (the struggles) affect me -- obviously, I was frustrated, but the main thing was, I kept plugging away,” said Holland, who allowed three hits, walked four and struck out five. “It can be a lonely place when you’re struggling like that, but the main thing is you’ve got to stay positive no matter what.”
Yolmer Sanchez homered and Kevan Smith had an RBI double for the White Sox, who also capitalized on some sloppy play by the Twins to build their lead and finish off the five-game series with back-to-back victories.
Chicago took three of five against Minnesota.
Holland (7-13) won for just the second time in his past 13 outings. He surrendered Minnesota’s lone run on a Byron Buxton home run in the sixth inning.
The Twins put runners on second and third with one out in the ninth inning, but Juan Minaya pitched out of trouble to preserve the victory as the White Sox.
Minnesota heads to Toronto attempting to get things back on track after dropping the series to the last-place White Sox.
“Just not enough offense the last couple of nights,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “They outplayed us, we made mistakes, and they took advantage and we just couldn’t get back in the game.”
Jose Berrios (11-6) took the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) over 5 1/3 innings. Berrios struck out nine and walked three while giving up only four hits. He was let down more than once by Minnesota’s defense.
Sanchez gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with two outs in the second inning when he hit a solo shot for his seventh home run of the season.
The White Sox took advantage of two Twins errors to score three runs in the fourth inning and build a 4-0 lead.
After Yoan Moncada walked and stole second, the rookie second baseman scored when Nicky Delmonico reached on an error by first baseman Mitch Garver.
Smith and Sanchez followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases before Tim Anderson drove in Delmonico with a fielder’s choice grounder. Smith scored on Berrios’ wild pick-off attempt.
“Hopefully, there’s a little lesson learned here -- you’ve got to have that intensity from the first inning,” Molitor said. “We have to come out ready to play from the get-go.”
The White Sox did just that, and once they built up the lead, Holland took over and finally put together the kind of start he has been looking for in a season full of frustrating disappointments.
The Thursday game marked the kind of turnaround Holland -- and the White Sox -- have been waiting for from the veteran lefty.
“He did a nice job keeping us in the ballgame,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He gave up a solo homer, but other than that, he had three walks, struck out two or three, induced a few double plays. Honestly, he seemed pretty much in control the whole ballgame, even though he worked in a little bit of traffic, got out of it. He looked a lot more comfortable out there today.”
NOTES: Chicago RF Leury Garcia left the game in the third inning due to back stiffness. He is considered day-to-day. ... White Sox 2B Yoan Moncada exited the game with shin splints in his right leg, an ailment Moncada told reporters Wednesday he expected to linger the rest of the season. ... Twins C Jason Castro was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion after being hit by several foul balls on his catcher’s mask Wednesday. Manager Paul Molitor said backup Chris Gimenez and rookie Mitch Garver would split the catching duties until Castro returns. OF Zack Granite was called from Triple-A Rochester to fill the roster spot. ... White Sox RF Avisail Garcia missed Thursday’s game after his wife gave birth to their second child earlier in the day. Manager Rick Renteria said Garcia should be available to play on Friday night against the Detroit Tigers.