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MIN 5, BAL 2: Slegers, Cave Lift Twins Out of Slump

If the familiar faces aren’t delivering, why not turn to some fresh faces, right? That plan worked out well Thursday night at Target Field, as Aaron Slegers held Baltimore to one run over six innings and Jake Cave was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and an outstanding leaping catch.
Image courtesy of © Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Aaron Slegers: 61 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 65.3% strikes
Bullpen: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB
Lineup: 2-for-7 w/RISP, 7 LOB
WPA of 0.1 or above: Slegers .266, Hildenberger .126, Cave .120
WPA of -0.1 or below: None
Attached Image: WinEx75.png
This is exactly the type of game we’ve come to expect from Slegers down in Triple A. He doesn’t overpower hitters (just two strikeouts) but he keeps them off balance. The Orioles only got one run off of three hits and a walk against Slegers, who only needed 72 pitches to complete his six frames.

The Twins scored their first run in the bottom of the third thanks to a pretty comical error by the O’s. Minnesota took a 3-0 lead, but things tightened up again thanks to a pair of Jonathan Scoop solo homers — one off Slegers and the other off Addison Reed.

Clinging to a one-run lead, Trevor Hildenberger pitched a scoreless eighth inning. The Twins added a pair of runs in the bottom half to take some of the excitement out of Fernando Rodney’s night. He pitched a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts to earn his 18th save.

There was a huge call overturned that hurt the Twins. Max Kepler hit what originally appeared to be a run-scoring double to put the Twins up 4-2 in the sixth. After a closer look, it was determined it was a ground-rule double. Jorge Polanco, who came around to score from first on the play, was forced to go back to third base, where he was eventually left stranded.

Cave was the offensive star of the night, but Logan Morrison was 2-for-4 with his 10th home run and Kepler was 2-for-4 with a double.

Postgame With Molitor

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen75.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 48-37
MIN 36-48 (-11.5)
DET 38-51 (-12)
CHW 30-56 (-18.5)
KC 25-61 (-23.5)

Next Three Games
Fri vs. BAL, 7:10 pm CT: Lance Lynn vs. Dylan Bundy
Sat vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Kevin Gausman
Sun vs. BAL, 1:10 pm CT: Jake Odorizzi vs. Alex Cobb

Last Three Games
MIL 3, MIN 2: Pushing Against a Stone
MIL 2, MIN 0: Strikeouts Galore
MIL 6, MIN 5: Oh, That Rodney Experience

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Jul 05 2018 09:55 PM

Whats the chances Slegers gets another start?What are the chances he's sent down tomorrow?

    • Riverbrian likes this

Picked a great game to attend.Very entertaining and speedy.I am quickly becoming a Jake Cave fan.  

    • jorgenswest, Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this
I was at the game with the family. Great night for baseball and the Twins won! I thought Slegers did a nice job today and deserves another shot.
    • luckylager, jorgenswest, Mike Sixel and 1 other like this
Jul 05 2018 10:51 PM
I didn’t get a chance to watch or listen to the game. When I looked at the box score, I was surprised that Slegers was pulled after just 72 pitches. Was he laboring or getting into some trouble in the later innings?
I just hope he stays up. And Cave keeps starting.
    • Carole Keller, luckylager, Jerr and 5 others like this

Was there a reason Slegers was taken out? Only 72 pitches?

I like what this kid brings as a 5th starter.

    • nclahammer likes this
Major League Ready
Jul 06 2018 06:44 AM


Was there a reason Slegers was taken out? Only 72 pitches?

They were having better ABs the last couple innings. I think taking him out was motivated by making sure his confidence remained in tact. It was a good outing to build on and that was more important than getting one more inning. 

    • Oldgoat_MN, nclahammer, Tomj14 and 2 others like this


Picked a great game to attend.Very entertaining and speedy.I am quickly becoming a Jake Cave fan.  

To me, Cave seems like a better option than Grossman.He can run faster, play all 3 outfield positions, and seems to take quality at bats.

    • luckylager, Oldgoat_MN, nclahammer and 3 others like this
Jul 06 2018 07:32 AM

To me, Cave seems like a better option than Grossman.He can run faster, play all 3 outfield positions, and seems to take quality at bats.

I guess that means Cave will be sent down today and Grossman will be in the starting lineup until a 40-year old journeyman outfielder can be signed (and probably Rooker DFA'd).
    • Mike Sixel, adorduan, David HK and 1 other like this

An impressive starting pitching performance, a couple of player with multiple hits. Not a bad game! Then again, we were playing the Orioles.

    • Dman, David HK and nclahammer like this

Whew! I was worried there. Just when I was beginning to think the Twins were a terrible team, the Orioles came to town and showed us what terrible really means.

    • Mike Sixel, Riverbrian and MN_ExPat like this

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