TOR 10, MIN 9: Sloppy 8th Inning Costs Twins in Comeback Effort
Image courtesy of Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY SportsWin Expectancy (via Fangraphs)
Top 3 Twins per WPA: Escobar .331 | Kepler .080 | Dozier .046
The Twins fell behind 2-0, but managed to tie it up in the top of the fifth thanks to an Eduardo Escobar two-run homer. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays busted out in the bottom of that inning for six runs. The Twins rallied back again, scoring five unanswered runs, with the big blow coming in the form of a Max Kepler grand slam in the top of the eighth inning.
But, once again, the Blue Jays answered. In the bottom of the eighth, John Curtiss walked leadoff man Ezequiel Carrera on four pitches. Carrera stole second base and took third on a throwing error by catcher Mitch Garver. Carrera scored on a bloop double that landed between Kennys Vargas, Brian Dozier and Max Kepler. A second run later scored on a Curtiss wild pitch. Those two runs proved to be massive.
The Twins mustered yet another comeback attempt in the ninth. Zack Granite hit a leadoff single and Eduardo Escobar reached on an error. Brian Dozier singled to score Granite, making the score 10-8 with still no outs in the inning. Joe Mauer hit into a double play, which scored Escobar, before Jorge Polanco grounded out to end the game.
The Twins had only lost when scoring nine or more runs once this season. It was too bad Mauer couldn’t deliver in the ninth, but he had his second straight three-hit game and it was the sixth time he’s accomplished that feat this month.
Gee was the starter and lasted only four innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts. Tyler Duffey was the first man out of the pen, and was only able to retire one of the five batters he faced and was charged with four earned runs.
This was Duffey’s first appearance in Toronto since getting pummeled in his major league debut back in August of 2015. He was the starter that day, but lasted just two innings after giving up six runs.
Glen Perkins made his third appearance of the year, and didn’t give up any runs for the first time. He gave up a hit over 0.2 innings.
Postgame With Molitor
Twins W-L Record
Last 10: 6-4
Last 20: 13-7
AL Central Standings
Minnesota 66-63 (-6.0)
Kansas City 64-63 (-7.0)
AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 69-59 (+3.5)
WC2: Minnesota 66-63
Seattle 66-64 (-0.5)
Kansas City 64-63 (-1.0)
Angels 65-64 (-1.0)
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
SUN: Twins (Kyle Gibson at Toronto (Joe Biagini), 12:07 pm CT
Tue: Twins (TBD) vs. White Sox (TBD), 7:10 pm CT
FRI: MIN 6, TOR 1: Buxton, Bartolo Gets Twins Back to Winning Ways
THU: CWS 5, MIN 1: Twins Drop Ugly Game, Series to White Sox
WED: CWS 4, MIN 3: Twins Bullpen Blows Lead
Question of the Day
Which team do you think will be the Twins stiffest competition for the second wild card spot?