Twins 3, Cleveland 1: Buxton, Jeffers Sting Bieber; Maeda Sails Through 7
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Maeda: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Home Runs: Buxton (7), Jeffers (2)
Top 3 WPA: Maeda .430, Buxton .131, Romo .049
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
Shane Bieber entered tonight having only given up three earned runs in one of his nine starts in 2020. In fact, he gave up zero runs in five of those starts.
The Twins got to him early tonight. Byron Buxton blistered a two-run homer in the second inning that scored Jake Cave. An absolute laser beam, Buxton’s shot had a 111.5 mph exit velocity, the hardest hit ball Bieber had given up all season.
That was all the run support Kenta Maeda needed. He was simply brilliant once again for the Twins, holding Cleveland to just four hits over seven shutout innings. He had seven strikeouts, walked a pair of batters and threw 67% of his pitches for strikes.
The Twins are now 7-2 in games that Maeda starts. His ERA is down to 2.43 on the season, and he’s allowed just one earned run in 18 innings against Cleveland this year.
Buxton wasn’t able to boast about having the hardest hit ball off Bieber for long, as Ryan Jeffers topped his mark with an upper deck bomba in the seventh inning.
As a Twins fan, it’s almost deflating to see Cleveland churn out top of the rotation starters like it’s no big deal, but imagine what their fans, who have watched some pretty unimpressive offensive teams of late, feel about the Twins' hitting factory.
Sergio Romo picked up where Maeda left off and pitched a perfect eighth inning. It ended with Francisco Lindor popping out, smiling at Romo, then the two jawing at each other until the benches cleared.
Listen, I love Sergio Romo, but sooner or later stuff like this is going to get him or one of his teammates suspended. Or thrown at. MLB was clear coming into the season they weren’t going to tolerate stuff like this.
I’m not sure what was said, but Lindor is known as one of the most easy-going players in the league. Romo's intensity has clearly served him well over his remarkable career, but it's starting to feel like it'd be good to reel it in a bit. To let some stuff slide every now and then.
Cooler heads prevailed, Cleveland threatened in the ninth inning, but Taylor Rogers held on. José Ramirez blasted his 10th home run of the season to put Cleveland on the board, Franmil Reyes added a two-out double, but Rogers got Oscar Mercado to ground out to end the game.
Rogers picked up his ninth save, but has now surrendered seven earned runs (11 total) in 16 outings this year. Last season, he gave up his seventh earned run in his 24th appearance.
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