With the White Sox struggling, James Shields doesn’t want to hear about moral victories or solid efforts.
His goal is to help his team win, so anything short of that can’t be considered a success.
Shields pitched a no-hitter into the seventh inning before the Minnesota Twins rallied late for a 5-3 victory over Chicago on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, we had a two-run lead and we gave it up,” he said. “It was a good effort, but we came up short.”
With the Twins trailing 2-0, Eduardo Escobar broke up the no-hitter with a one-out single in the seventh. Eddie Rosario then followed with a single to drive in Brian Dozier, who led off the inning with a walk.
Shields, who retired the first 16 batters, got the next batter Robbie Grossman on a fly to center for the second out (with Escobar advancing to third) before being lifted after 91 pitches.
Left-hander Luis Avilan was brought in to face lefty Logan Morrison, but the strategy backfired as Morrison dropped a soft liner just inside the right-field foul line for a two-run double to give the Twins a 3-2 lead.
“We got a lot of talented guys on the team, got a lot of talented position players that can score runs in bunches,” Morrison said. “Good to see that today and keep it going.”
Shields allowed three runs and two hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball was the longest for a White Sox pitcher since Jose Quintana (also 6 1/3 innings) on May 21, 2013.
Rosario homered and drove in two runs as Minnesota won its third straight.
Leury Garcia and Matt Davidson each had an RBI for Chicago, which has dropped seven of eight.
Davidson’s sac fly in the bottom of the seventh tied the game at 3.
In his previous start Tuesday at St. Louis, Shields allowed one run and two hits in six innings. He allowed a lead-off homer to Tommy Pham and then retired 15 straight batters. Shields left with Chicago leading 2-1 but received a no-decision after the bullpen surrendered two runs in a 3-2 loss.
“He’s really commanding the strike zone; he’s been very, very effective,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He continues to maybe prove that he’s still capable of commanding respect on the diamond.”
Minnesota regained the lead on Sunday on an RBI groundout by Max Kepler in the eighth and Rosario added a solo homer in the ninth.
Zach Duke (2-1) got the win with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his fifth save.
Bruce Rondon (1-2) took the loss.
The go-ahead run in the eighth was unearned and a result of a physical and mental mistake by the White Sox.
Joe Mauer led off with a walk and advanced to third as shortstop Tim Anderson’s flip for the force out at second wasn’t handled by Jose Rondon for an error.
Chicago then brought the infield in, but Mauer scored on a slow grounder to third because Yolmer Sanchez never looked him back before throwing to first.
“It’s fun,” Mauer said. “Those are little games within the game.”
Twins: CF Byron Buxton (fractured left big toe) took batting practice Saturday and Sunday. He ran on Friday and is expected to run again on Monday.
White Sox: There is still no timetable for the return of RF Avisail Garcia (right hamstring strain), who was placed on the 10-day DL April 24. “Avi took some swings (Saturday) and (Sunday),” Renteria said. “We still have to put him on a regimen where we can start doing some more explosive work with him.”
Twins: RHP Fernando Romero (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series at St. Louis on Monday night after winning his major-league debut last week. RHP John Gant (1-0, 0.00) goes for the Cardinals.