April 23, 2024

What the doctor ordered: The Chicago White Sox

After a disappointing series loss to the Detroit Tigers, the Twins got exactly what they needed: The 3-18 Chicago White Sox, one of the worst teams in baseball, who took the field on Monday and promptly lost, 7-0.

It was perhaps the Twins’ most complete and convincing victory of the season so far. Chris Paddack dominated on the mound and the bats showed some life, the Twins scoring those seven runs on 11 hits.

Max Kepler, who returned to the lineup on Monday, drove in three runs with a single and double, Eddie Julien had three hits, including his team-leading fifth dinger, and Willi Castro contributed two hits with a double.

Paddack had his best start as a Twin. He shut out the White Sox on five hits across seven innings with no walks and 10 strikeouts. That effort allowed him to slash his ERA by two runs to just under 6.00 at 5.57.

And not to be overlooked: Oregon State man Trevor Larnach also doubled, scored two runs, drove in a run, walked twice and whiffed once to complete the full-meal deal, if you ask me.

The improved effort from the Twins wasn’t lost on manager Rocco Baldelli.

“It wasn’t one guy doing it,” Baldelli told MLB.com. “It was almost everybody that was out there was hitting the ball hard and it seemed like they had a good plan. I couldn’t be more pleased. This is what we’ve been working toward. We want more of it.”

Pablo Lopez gets the ball Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins have sent Louie Varland to Triple-A St. Paul after he fell to 0-4 with an ERA of more than 9.00, following his loss to the Tigers on Sunday. He lasted all of two-plus innings in the 6-1 defeat. It appears rookie pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson will replace him in the rotation.

-Good riddance to the Tigers and that weekend series. The Twins were 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position and left 21 men on base over the three games. Hard to believe they actually won one of those contests.

-The Twins again have a chance to make a move in the division. They have three more games at home against the White Sox, then hit the road to play the Angels and White Sox once more.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.