Twins 4, Astros 2: Reliable Rogers Escapes Bases-Loaded Jam
Image courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsWin Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs)
Rogers has quietly established himself as one of the best setup men in all of baseball, and he came up huge tonight for the Twins. Tyler Duffey was called upon to handle the seventh inning. He retired the first two batters he faced, but eventually loaded the bases.
Just when it was starting to feel like another bullpen implosion, Paul Molitor turned to Rogers, who escaped the jam by getting right-handed hitter Yuli Gurriel to ground out to Dozier. Rogers staying in for the eighth and set the Astros down in order.
Brian Dozier slugged a home run on the very first pitch of this game, hitting a leadoff homer for the second-straight night. If the first two games are any indication, we could see Dozier have another special second half.
Santana walked five batters, but he limited the damage to two runs over his six innings of work. Combined with his Memorial Day start, Ervin has now surrendered just three earned runs over 13 innings pitched against the deadly Astros lineup this season.
Houston left the bases loaded in the second, fourth and seventh innings. Santana got a lot of help from his defense as Joe Mauer made a couple of nice plays in his first game back from the DL and Miguel Sano made an outstanding, run-saving catch in the fourth inning.
Ervin's night ended on a very nice play by Jorge Polanco.
The Twins trailed 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, but they managed to scratch across a run on a Zack Granite bases-loaded ground ball double play. Granite, who has been presented with a great opportunity with Byron Buxton on the DL, was hitting second again tonight and went 0-for-5, leaving seven men left on base.
In the top of the sixth, Rosario delivered what ended up being the game-winning hit. Lady luck was certainly on his side, as Baseball Savant had the hit probability at just 14% , but we’ll take it.
Postgame With Dozier
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Houston (Mike Fiers), 1:10 pm CT
Fiers is on a nice roll, registering a 2.65 ERA while holding opponents to a .636 OPS over his last 10 starts. He gave up multiple homers in five of his first seven starts of the season, since then he’s only served up three long balls in 10 starts. Dozier has a pair of homers off Fiers.
In 10 starts since being called back up from Rochester, Gibson has a 5.40 ERA, has given up 10 homers and has 35 strikeouts against 25 walks. It’s only a sample of 63 plate appearances, but current Houston hitters have combined to hit just .179/.254/.286 (.540 OPS) off Gibson.