Garrett Crochet bounces back, but Chicago White Sox see their 3-game winning streak end

Garrett Crochet didn’t make it out of the fifth inning in his previous start against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday at Target Field.

He saw them again Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field and had better results — allowing two runs while striking out seven in five innings.

“I felt like it took me a minute to get going,” Crochet said. “Giving up the (two-run) homer (to Carlos Santana) kind of flipped the switch for me. Then I felt like I was on autopilot for the rest of the game.”

Crochet was long gone by the time the game was decided. Right fielder Max Kepler drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the ninth to lead the Twins to a 3-2 win in front of 10,772.

The Sox saw their season-high three-game winning streak come to an end, while the Twins won their eighth straight.

“This one hurt,” manager Pedro Grifol said.

Grifol praised the adjustments Crochet made from start to start.

Crochet allowed five runs and seven hits in four-plus innings last week at Target Field. On Monday he surrendered the two-run homer to Santana — which tied the score at 2 — and then a single with one out in the second. He retired the final 11 batters he faced.

“I was frustrated just because of the road trip we just went on,” said Crochet, who exited after 77 pitches. “I took part in wearing out the bullpen a good bit. I felt like today was a good chance for me to save them. I had the long second (inning) but I was able to be efficient after that. It’s time I do my part and get through six. I really wanted to.

“I feel like they are looking out for my best interest. That was kind of (pitching coach) Ethan (Katz) and Pedro’s side. It’s a long season, so let’s make sure we make every start we can. I understand they are protecting my best interest, so I’ve just got to have faith. I’m just going to keep pitching until the ball is taken out of my hand. That’s all I can do as a player.”

Grifol said the Sox are “treading in uncharted waters” with Crochet, who moved from the bullpen to the rotation this season.

“I thought he did a really good job today, (77) pitches already,” Grifol said. “We had (Brad) Keller, so it was kind of the perfect storm for us. Got to get Keller on that mound too. They had a pocket of three out of four righties (in the sixth). It was good for (the right-handed) Keller, it was good to get Crochet out of there in a shorter start.”

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Keller (1 2/3 innings), who joined the team from Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday, and fellow relievers Tim Hill (one-third of an inning) and Michael Kopech (one inning) kept the score tied.

Byron Buxton led off the ninth with a double against John Brebbia. Kepler followed with the RBI single to right, giving the Twins the 3-2 lead.

“I thought it was a great pitch (to Buxton). He did an even better job hitting it,” Sox catcher Korey Lee said. “That’s the part of the game that sucks sometimes. We’re going to ride and die with that situation, and Brebbia and I had a good conversation before. It’s not like we weren’t ready for that situation. We were determined, we threw it and you have to tip your cap sometimes.”

The Sox had runners on first and third with two outs in the ninth, but Lee struck out to end the game. The Sox went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, falling to 6-23 — the worst record in franchise history through 29 games.

“We had some really good at-bats in the eighth and the ninth,” Grifol said, “just couldn’t come up with the big hit.”