As far as rematches go, this one between two developing pitchers on struggling teams is not the most intriguing on paper.
But baseball fans would love to see a repeat of the drama that unfolded when Yohan Pino and Scott Carroll faced each other on Sunday. With Chicago trying to seal a four-game sweep at Target Field, Minnesota rallied with a two-run Sam Fuld (now with the Oakland A's) single in the seventh to take a 4-3 victory.
The key moment of the game came the inning before, when a blister knocked White Sox starter Carroll out of the contest.
"I wasn't going to send him back out there the way his hand was, so we started going to the bullpen," manager Robin Ventura said.
Minnesota's offense came alive thereafter, and Chicago wasted a very effective start from Carroll.
"I think the biggest thing I can take away from this is just staying within myself," Carroll said. "I didn't have my best stuff, but when I execute and not try to be too fine, I think that's when my stuff plays really well."
On the other side, Pino was good enough to help his team to victory. He gave up two earned runs in six innings, striking out six and walking one.
"I felt great," Pino said. "I made my pitches. We battled there and the bullpen did a good job."
The start allowed Pino to keep his job in a Twins rotation that's seen its fair share of turnover this season.
"That was a lot of drama, but we found a way to win," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Pino did a nice job and got us deep into the game without giving up much. We found a way to get some runs in with some good at-bats. So it was a nice win."
Chicago (fourth place) and Minnesota (fifth place) are currently holding down the bottom of a competitive American League Central. The two clubs played a spirited, back-and-forth contest on Friday night, with the White Sox rallying and then holding on to a 10-8 victory.
Twins: Vargas off to a quick start
Kennys Vargas made his Major League debut on Friday night, and the 24-year-old made a big impact in the batter's box.
"Big Papi, Jr." -- as he was called in the Minor Leagues -- belted a two-run, ground-rule double down the right-field line during a five-run third to give the Twins a 4-2 lead.
"He's played against Major Leaguers," Gardenhire said before the game. "He's played in Spring Training, but you don't know when you put a kid out there for the first time in the big leagues. There's an element out there that none of us know what's really going to happen."
But Vargas' performance wasn't all positive, particularly in the field. He couldn't bring in a wild throw from pitcher Logan Darnell in the first, and then let a Brian Dozier throw slip past his glove in the second.
"He was really raw in all his stages from the beginning," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "I remember seeing him miss a ball by three feet when he first signed. I said: 'Oh, what do we got here?' He's worked really hard. Our coaches and the Minor League staff have done a tremendous job with him. ... He's worked hard on his defense, but it's still a work in progress."
White Sox: Putnam has positive bullpen session
Injured reliever Zach Putnam unleashed 20 fastballs in a bullpen session before Friday night's game.
"I felt really good," Putnam said. "I'm not trying to force it right now. Just trying to feel it out."
Ventura had suggested Putnam, who was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation on July 24, might need a short Minor League injury rehab assignment before returning to the White Sox. But Putnam sounded as if that assignment might not be needed.
"With the way I feel physically, if I had to get in there tomorrow, I think I'd be OK," Putnam said. "It's just a matter now of fine-tuning, having not thrown for a week, trying to shake the rust off a little bit."
Putnam plans to add some cutters to Sunday's bullpen session, with his split-finger being the last pitch incorporated.
• Jose Abreu extended his career-long 21-game hitting streak with an RBI single in the fourth inning on Friday night. He's hit in 39 of his past 40 games, and has reached base safely in his last 10 plate appearances (six hits, three walks and a hit by pitch).
• Carroll has given up one earned run or less in three of his past four starts. His ERA is 2.38 during that time, compared to 4.29 on the season.
• Pino's Major League debut on June 19 was also his longest start to date. He ate up seven innings in that 4-2 win over the White Sox, but he has not been able to stretch past 6 1/3 innings in the six starts since.
Alex M. Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.