Twins 7, Cleveland 5: Twins Complete Sweep, Shift Focus to White Sox
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Pineda: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Home Runs: Gonzalez (5), Cruz (16), Jeffers (3), Donaldson (4)
Top 3 WPA: Jeffers .192, Gonzalez .118, Wade Jr. .116
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
After slugging five home runs yesterday, the Bomba Squad was back at it again today. Marwin Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Jeffers and Josh Donaldson all went deep, continuing a power surge for the Twins.
Gonzalez has now homered in back-to-back games, Cruz is currently tied for the league lead with 16 home runs, Donaldson has hit three home runs in 11 games since returning from the IL and Jeffers has three bombas in his last four starts. The Twins have now slugged 18 bombas in their last six games.
Big Mike’s Uneven Day
On one hand, Cleveland had a ton of traffic on the bases against Michael Pineda. On the other hand, it’s not like they were squaring him up. Pineda gave up eight hits, but just one extra-base knock, a double to José Ramirez.
Big Mike also struck out eight batters for the second straight start, and has 20 Ks in 17 2/3 innings so far this season. All those hits and strikeouts resulted in a lot of pitches, and Pineda lasted just 4 2/3 innings this afternoon. He threw 66 of his 98 pitches for strikes.
May, Rosario Exit With Injuries
Trevor May was removed from the seventh inning of today’s game with what the Twins are calling mild back cramping. Eddie Rosario collided with Byron Buxton and suffered what’s being reported as a left-elbow contusion. Both May and Rosario are listed as day-to-day.
Romo Secures the Save
With Taylor Rogers having pitched yesterday, Rocco Baldelli turned to Sergio Romo in the ninth inning. Cleveland had the go-ahead run at the plate in slugger Franmil Reyes with one out, but Romo eviscerated him with an 86 mph fastball.
That might not seem like something a pitcher can do in 2020, with all the eye-popping velocity out there, but Romo set him up brilliantly by opening the at-bat with three mid-70s sliders. Made that fastball look like it was about 100 mph, and it completely froze Reyes for a gigantic strikeout.
Division Picture Developing
What once was a three-team standoff appears to have boiled down to a two-team showdown in the American League Central. Today’s loss was Cleveland’s sixth straight. The Twins will turn the page to Chicago, who has won eight of their nine games since they last played Minnesota.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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