BOS 9, MIN 4: The Red Sox Bats Were Poppen Tonight
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Gibson: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 52.1% strikes (49 of 94 pitches)
Home Runs: Astudillo (3), Kepler (19)
Multi-Hit Games: Astudillo (3 for 4, HR), Rosario (2 for 4)
WPA of +0.1: Astudillo .141, Arraez .127
WPA of -0.1: Gibson -.495, Cave -.144, Castro -.116
(Chart via FanGraphs)
The Twins were able to get on the board with a run in the first inning, but they left you wondering if it could have been a bigger inning. After Max Kepler popped out to start the inning, C.J. Cron flared a single into right field. Then Nelson Cruz followed that up with a towering flyball that hit off the limestone in right field, deflecting the ball back towards the infield, however, Red Sox centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to run the ball down and easily throw out Cron who was heading home, even though he should have definitely been held up. On the play, Cruz was able to advance to third, and scored on the next at-bat when Eddie Rosario beat the shift with a two-out RBI base-hit.
It didn’t take the Red Sox long to respond, stringing a bunch of singles and walks together in the top of the second, and before you knew it the Twins were in a quick hole, down three to one. This was the first of two bad innings on the night for Kyle Gibson, who did not have his best command. In the fifth, Gibson was touched for three more runs after giving up another string of walks and hits. Gibson’s five walks allowed were his most since his first start of the 2018 season in Baltimore.
In the bottom of the third, the Twins got another clutch two-out RBI base-hit, this time off the bat of Luis Arraez. Then it was Bomba time in the bottom of the fourth. Willians Astudillo carried over his hot bat from Triple-A Rochester, leading off the inning with a solo shot as part of a three-hit night.
Max Kepler followed La Tortuga with a home run of his own just a couple of batters later, giving the Twins a four to three lead. This was already Kepler’s 19th home run of the season, just one shy of his previous career high 20 that he hit in 2018.
The Twins made a couple of roster moves earlier this afternoon. The first was placing Marwin Gonzalez on the 10-day IL with a hamstring injury. Which is the reason why La Tortuga was back up with the MLB club tonight. The other move the Twins made was placing Blake Parker on the family medical emergency list, which forced them into bringing up reliever Sean Poppen to make his MLB debut. Poppen has been pitches lights out for the Rochester Red Wings, with a 1.55 ERA. 10.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9.
Poppen was able to get into the game tonight and gave the Twins bullpen a much-needed night off, throwing four innings to finish the game. Poppen looked pretty sharp for three of the four innings but struggled in the eighth inning allowing three runs on four hits and two walks. It probably wasn’t exactly the debut that Poppen was hoping to have, but he served a big role, and will give the Twins a fresher bullpen heading into a four-game series against the Royals starting on Thursday.
Postgame with Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Thur at KC, 7:15 pm CT (Odorizzi-TBD)
Fri at KC, 7:15 pm CT (Perez-TBD)
Sat at KC, 1:15 pm CT (Berrios-TBD)
MIN 4, BOS 3: Twins Win in 17th Inning, Get First Walk-Off
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