First errors of season prove costly to Twins

First errors of season prove costly to Twins

CHICAGO -- It wasn't just that the Twins started out the season with a 4-0 record, it's that they looked like a different team than the one that lost 103 games a year ago -- especially on the defensive side.

But that wasn't the case in their first loss of the season on Saturday, a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the White Sox, as Minnesota was hurt by its first two errors of the season, and didn't play as crisp defensively as it had during its first four games.

"We've talked about having some pretty clean games here the first four, but today was a different story," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We made some mistakes, and they made us pay."

The most glaring play came in the second after an RBI triple from Avisail Garcia. Geovany Soto tried to lay down a bunt but failed, and catcher Jason Castro threw to third baseman Miguel Sano to catch Garcia in a rundown. Sano tried to chase Garcia home, but by the time he threw to Castro it was too late, allowing the third run of the game.

"I ran too close to the plate and I flipped the ball to home, but it was too late," Sano said. "So it was an error. I tried to touch Garcia, but he's got more speed than me. I'm supposed to make the out there."

Molitor was fine with the decision to run Garcia toward home, but said Sano was too late getting the ball to Castro, who also fumbled the flip and was originally charged with the error before it was switched to Sano.

"You could tell right away when Miggy got the ball he thought he'd be able to catch him," Molitor said. "I don't mind running a guy towards home. If you execute on one throw you're going to be fine, but he realized too late he wasn't going to catch him, and he tried to get rid of the ball too quickly and the exchange wasn't good."

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said it was a called squeeze play, and Garcia said he was just happy he was able to make it home.

"I was a little bit surprised," Garcia said. "I'm happy that I scored and helped the team."

Sano made a second error in the fifth on a routine grounder from Tyler Saladino, but the Twins got out of the inning without any damage. Sano said he remains confident in his defense, and will continue to work at getting better.

"I made two errors today but there's nothing I can say about that," Sano said. "I need to keep going out there and do my job."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.