Thursday's matinee and series finale between the Twins and White Sox could feature more fireworks as Josh Donaldson's beef with baseball's sticky substances scandal has blown to new heights in the Windy City.
The Twins third baseman drew the ire of White Sox starter Lucas Giolito when he appeared to yell "hands not sticky anymore" after homering Tuesday, suggesting that Giolito is among the 150 or so pitchers Donaldson says he can name for using illegal grip enhancers that help pitchers increase spin rate and gain an advantage over batters.
Donaldson backed up his trash talk Wednesday before the game when he went on a lengthy rant about Giolito calling him a "f------ pest" and "classless," and then continued as baseball's biggest villain by coming to the plate to raucous booing in the first inning.
Donaldson then smashed a Dylan Cease pitch deep into the left-field seats for a 1-0 Twins lead, boosting his status as a villain by flipping his bat and admiring the long ball.
But that was one of few bright spots in the game as the Sox pounded Minnesota's pitching en route to a 13-3 win, with Donaldson striking out in his next two at-bats before being taken out of the game.
The White Sox launched six homers in the game, including two by catcher Yasmani Grandal, who said Donaldson's words before the game "didn't go unnoticed."
"It definitely fires you up. Thanks to him for getting us awakened a little bit," Grandal said.
It also probably helped that Chicago was facing rookie starter Bailey Ober and then Matt Shoemaker, whose brutal 2021 season saw him allow six more runs in relief of Ober to increase his ERA to 8.06 this season.
Minnesota and Chicago wrap up the three-game series Thursday at 1:10 p.m. The Twins are 1-7 against the Sox this season. Jose Berrios starts for the Twins and lefty Carlos Rodon goes for Chicago.