MIN 6, TB 2: Marwin Carries May Success Into June, Helps Lead Twins Over Rays
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Gibson: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 67.0% strikes (59 of 88 pitches)
Home Runs: Gonzalez (6), Buxton (6)
Multi-Hit Games: Castro (3-for-4, 2B), Gonzalez (2-for-5, 2B, HR), Buxton (2-for-3, HR, BB), Rosario (2-for-4, BB)
WPA of +0.1: Gonzalez .168, Gibson .151, Polanco .125, Castro .107
WPA of -0.1: None
(chart via FanGraphs)
Gonzalez, who hit .299/.370/.443 (.814 OPS) in May, had a go-ahead RBI double and a solo home run today. He also had a flyout that had an exit velocity of 99 mph and traveled 379 feet. Marwin accounted for three of the five longest balls hit in today’s game, those three balls traveling a combined 1,201 feet.
Gonzalez has played a different position each game of this series so far. He’s moved across the diamond, going from third base Thursday to shortstop last night to first base this afternoon. He contributed there, as well, making a few nice scoops and stretches.
The Twins’ bullpen, subject of constant nitpickery, was also solid today. That unit combined to cover the final four innings of this game, and the only run they surrendered was on a 67.4 mph Ryne Harper curveball below the zone that Christian Arroyo somehow muscled out for his first homer of the year.
Tampa Bay starter Yonny Chirinos was nasty early on, but the Twins seemed to figure him out as the game progressed. They were having a tough time with Chirinos’ slider in particular, but he left one up on an 0-2 count to Byron Buxton in the fourth inning that resulted in an RBI single. Buxton also hit a solo homer with two strikes off reliever Hunter Wood in the sixth inning.
Chirinos ended up with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings and got 19 swinging strikes on his 91 pitches. Even with that nastiness, the Twins lineup was able to get nine hits off him.
Kyle Gibson had basically the opposite experience. He wasn’t overpowering Tampa Bay, but he managed to make pitches when he really needed to.
After the Twins took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning, it was starting to feel like Gibson might unravel in the bottom of that frame. He labored through, requiring 28 pitches to get through it, but he managed to hold the Rays off the board and stranded the bases loaded.
Gibson followed that grind of an inning up with a quick 1-2-3 fourth inning that required just 10 pitches. He ran into some more trouble in the fifth, but pitched around a leadoff single. In his five innings, the Rays were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Gibson and stranded seven runners on base. The only run he gave up was unearned.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Sun at TB, 12:10 pm CT (Odorizzi-TBD)
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