CHICAGO (670 THE SCORE) -- For all the noise entering this anticipated 2020 season for the South Side, there were mere echoes Friday night.
The echo of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito's first pitch of the season landing in the empty right-field seats of Guaranteed Rate Field as a home run off the bat of Twins leadoff man Max Kepler. The echo of shortstop Tim Anderson slamming his bat in the dugout after a seventh-inning strikeout. And the echo of Twins catcher Mitch Garver's glove securing the ball on Yoan Moncada's strikeout to end the game.
The White Sox opened their season with a frustrating 10-5 loss to the Twins inside their spectator-less home stadium. After three challenging years of rebuilding, the White Sox showcased their old form instead of that of a team billed as an American League contender.
"We're not going to see too many games like tonight," White Sox rookie center fielder Robert said. "We're going to play better."
Giolito allowed seven earned runs over 3 2/3 innings of work, including two home runs to Kepler. White Sox second baseman Leury Garcia waved at a potential inning-ending double play in the first inning, which allowed three more runs to eventually score. The White Sox were sloppy both in the field and at the plate, stranding six runners on base.
The Twins reminded that they're still the class of the AL Central and a team perhaps more dangerous this year than last, while the White Sox failed to start their season as they hoped.
"Tonight's a night that you throw straight to the trash can and move on," Giolito said.
The White Sox have spoken confidently of their chances to win the division crown after promoting the prized prospect Robert and signing veterans in catcher Yasmani Grandal, left-hander Dallas Keuchel and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Those additions to a strong young core signaled their intention to contend.
When MLB expanded its postseason format from 10 to 16 teams on Thursday afternoon, it represented an even greater opportunity for the White Sox in 2020. But even with the expanded format, first this team must assert itself on a consistent basis over 60 games.
The White Sox didn't accomplish that in their first chance.
"We've been getting our ass kicked for three years," White Sox outfielder Nicky Delmonico said before the game. "I think we're hungry. I think the fans are feeling the same way too. We want to return the damage that has been given to us. I think that makes us dangerous."
The White Sox indeed remain dangerous, but there's little margin for error in a 60-game season. They've spent the last three seasons building toward 2020, with this viewed as just the beginning in their mind.
But the White Sox can't have many more nights like Friday if they intend to make some noise.
"We'll hopefully come away tomorrow with a win," Giolito said. "And keep it going."