(SportsNetwork.com) – It wasn’t exactly the debut the Chicago White Sox were
hoping for from Jeff Samardzija. The big right-hander will hope for better
results on Saturday when the White Sox continue a three-game series with the
Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field.
Samardzija carried an unimpressive spring into his first start for the White
Sox on Monday versus the Kansas City Royals and was hit for five runs and six
hits in six innings. He also hit two batters, including one right after a home
Samardzija has split his two starts versus the Twins, but has allowed 10 runs
in just 9 2/3 innings against them.
Minnesota will hand the ball to righty Mike Pelfrey, who benefited more than
anyone from Ervin Santana’s 80-game PED suspension. Despite a solid spring
Pelfrey lost the fifth starter competition, but now will get a chance to prove
himself with Santana on the shelf.
Pelfrey has endured two elbow surgeries the last three seasons and was 0-3
with a 7.99 ERA in five starts for the Twins last season. The 31-year-old has
not done much since signing with the Twins prior to the 2013 season and has
pitched to a 5.56 ERA in 34 starts for them.
It may not get any better for him on Saturday, as he is 0-3 in five starts
versus the White Sox with a 6.66 ERA.
After an embarrassing start to the season in Detroit, Minnesota got off the
schneid Friday, as Tommy Milone pitched a strong 7 2/3 innings and the Twins
spoiled Chicago’s home opener with a 6-0 win.
Milone (1-0) allowed just two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to earn
his first win as a Twin since last summer’s trade from Oakland. It also gave
Hall of Famer Paul Molitor his first win as Minnesota’s new manager.
“We talk a lot about the importance of starting pitching,” said Molitor.
“Tommy was great. He got a couple outs in the first inning before extending
himself to about 25 pitches to get out of the first, but he settled down.”
The Twins collected 10 hits and drew nine walks after scoring just one run in
the three-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers to start the season. Brian
Dozier hit Minnesota’s first home run of the year, and Jordan Schafer drove in
two insurance runs in the final inning.
Hector Noesi (0-1) was ineffective from the start for the White Sox despite
striking out six batters in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits
and six walks.
The White Sox continued to struggle and were only able to get three hits as
they have dropped their first four games for the first time since 1995.
Minnesota won 10 of its 19 matchups with the White Sox in 2014.