Twins fall to Sox after seven-run first

Twins fall to Sox after seven-run first

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was clear from the very start of Sunday night's game that this would be a game unlike any other the Twins had ever experienced.

With the White Sox practically gift-wrapping seven runs in the first inning for the Twins, it appeared that Minnesota would be well on its way to victory.

Not so fast.

Instead, it was a comedy of errors and rarely seen occurrences in baseball that followed with the White Sox managing to find a way to pull out a 9-7 victory over the Twins at the Metrodome.

There seemed to be only one way that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire could explain all of the madness that took place on the field.

"Maybe there was a full moon," Gardenhire said. "We can't see the moon in here, but there must have been a full moon."

The list of rare occurrences surely would be hard to match. From White Sox starter Mark Buehrle allowing seven runs in the first and still picking up a win, to the Twins hitting into a triple play courtesy of a bunt, to the fact that starting shortstop Juan Castro jammed his pinkie finger due to the congestion in the dugout in the first caused by the team scoring so many runs in the inning, it was a night that just left the Twins all shaking their heads.

"It was crazy, man," catcher Mike Redmond said of the game. "I just sat on bench and thought, 'This is one crazy game.' Guys were coming to the plate saying, 'I've never seen that before,' or, 'This is just one of those nights.' It was just weird."

The odd happenings began with the seven-run inning for the Twins, which came after the Sox had gotten off to a 3-0 lead courtesy of a three-run blast by Jermaine Dye in the first.

Already trailing, the Twins then accomplished the unthinkable by rolling off seven runs in the bottom of the inning at the hands of known Twins killer, Mark Buehrle. Most of the runs would come following two key blunders by the White Sox defense. It all began with a throwing error by Buehrle in what would have been a double-play ground ball. Another fielding error, this time on a ground ball to shortstop Juan Uribe, would keep the scoring in motion for the Twins. A couple hard hits and a few bloops later, and the Twins would take a 7-4 lead.

Surely a good sign, right?

"We're thinking we're in business here," Redmond said. "Let's just make our pitches."

But those pitches wouldn't come, as Carlos Silva would continue to get in more trouble. In the third, Jim Thome blasted a solo shot to left that pulled the Sox within three, making it 7-4. Silva (2-6) gave up three more runs in the fourth that knotted the game up at 7 before he was pulled. Two more runs would score later in the inning, including one charged to Silva, to give the Sox the 9-7 lead.

"I feel bad for my team, they give me a seven-run lead and that's all that I need to win," Silva said. "I don't need anything else. So that's what bothers me right now, is that I don't do anything to help this team."

And while Silva's troubles only grew worse, Buehrle settled down. The left-hander allowed just five hits after his disastrous first inning. Buehrle (4-2) threw a total of six-plus innings, giving up just one earned run on 12 hits while walking two and striking out three.

Buehrle was the first pitcher to get a win after giving up seven-plus runs in the first since Jack Powell accomplished the feat on Sept. 29, 1900.

"That was impressive to me," Redmond said of Buehrle's outing. "He kept battling for his team and kept them in there. It's just unfortunate for us, that we couldn't hold them back."

Things just kept growing stranger for the Twins, as they pulled off more unbelievable feats -- like bunting into a triple play.

That occurred in the sixth inning, when the Twins had Shannon Stewart and Nick Punto at first and second with no outs. Luis Castillo tried to lay a bunt down, but popped it up to first baseman Paul Konerko. Both runners took off and the Twins were caught in their first triple play since Sept. 8, 1996.

To cap off the night was the fact that Castro had to leave the game following a jammed pinkie finger that he suffered early in that first, when he slipped in the dugout trying to grab his bat. He was able to play for about four innings before the finger had swelled to the point where he couldn't throw.

Before the night started, Castro had made a comment that every time something good happens, usually something bad does, too.

Well, the hope is now the opposite will happen on Monday.

"It was a crazy night from the start," Redmond said. "But hopefully we'll just move on and get ready for tomorrow. We still have a chance for three out of four, so we have to brush this one off."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.