MIN 10, TB 6: Twins Prevail Thanks to Big Error
Image courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Brian Dozier got things started with a leadoff home run. He now has 29 homers, which is the second-most in his career. The Rays answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, but Ehire Adrianza put the Twins back on top with a three-run homer in the top of the second.
Tampa caught back up with a three-run shot of their own in the bottom of the third via Lucas Duda. Eduardo Escobar broke the tie with a two-run single in the top of the fifth, but the Rays responded with another game-tying homer off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier in the bottom of the inning.
The Twins finally took the lead for good in the seventh. Dozier led off the inning with a walk. Jorge Polanco attempted to bunt him over, but got a lot more than he bargained for. The ball was thrown out into right field, Dozier came all the way around to score and Polanco ended up on third.
Aaron Slegers made his second-career start. It didn’t go so well. He gave up five runs, including a pair of homers, over 4.0 innings. Buddy Boshers was the first man out of the bullpen, primarily to get a lefty-lefty matchup with Kiermaier. The strategy made sense, as only seven of his 42 career homers entering today had come against left-handers, but Boshers served up a homer anyway. Then again, Kiermaier also hit a two-run single off Buddy Monday night, so maybe he just has his number.
From there, the rest of the bullpen took care of business. Ryan Pressly (1.1 IP), Taylor Rogers (1.1 IP), Trevor Hildenberger (1.0 IP) and Matt Belisle (1.0 IP) made sure there would be no more Tampa Bay comebacks, as they shut out the Rays for 4.2 innings.
Eduardo Escobar had a big game, going 3-for-5 with a triple, three RBI and two runs scored. Chris Gimenez also reached safely three times, tallying a pair of singles and a walk.
The Angels won last night to take hold of the second wild card spot, but this victory puts the Twins in a temporary deadlock with Anaheim. The Angels-A’s were already underway when this was published.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Thu: Twins (Kyle Gibson) at Kansas City (Sam Gaviglio), 7:15 pm CT
Fri: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Kansas City (Ian Kennedy), 7:15 pm CT
Sat: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Kansas City (Jake Junis), 6:15 pm CT
Tue: TB 2, MIN 0: Too Little, Too Later
Mon: TB 11, MIN 4: Bullpen Lets Game Get Out Of Hand
Sun: KC 5, MIN 4: What Even Is A Swing, Anyway?
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