MIN 13, TOR 7: Mauer Grand Slam Among 4 Twins Homers In Comeback Victory
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
Gibson entered this game on quite the roll, having pitched to a 1.38 ERA over his previous five starts. Matt Trueblood of Baseball Prospectus did an excellent overview of Gibby’s turnaround, and among the reasons for it he cited the fact that Gibby has been doing a better job of mixing things up, deploying a five-pitch repertoire. He seemed to have a feel for zero of those pitches in the early innings of Sunday afternoon’s game.
Gibson walked four batters in the first inning alone and Josh Donaldson took him deep twice, giving him back-to-back multi-homer games. The Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and it was starting to look like the Twins lead for the second Wild Card spot was in jeopardy.
But the offense erupted for seven runs in the second inning and Gibson found himself as he cruised through the next four frames. The bats would add six more runs in the fifth inning, allowing a low-stress day for the bullpen.
The five earned runs and five walks make Gibson’s line look pretty ugly, but he only gave up three hits and had eight strikeouts over 6.0 innings. He didn’t allow a single base runner from the third through sixth innings.
Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton got the comeback started by hitting back-to-back homers. The big blast of the day came from Joe Mauer, who hit a grand slam in the fifth. Later that inning, Rosario addd his second home run of the day.
Mauer, Rosario and Buxton all finished with three hits. Byron also drew a walk. Brian Dozier, Eduardo Escobar and Jason Castro all had a pair of hits. Escobar added a walk and stole his fifth base of the season.
AL Wild Card Standings
WC1: Yankees 82-67 (+4.0)
WC2: Twins 78-71
Angels 76-73 (-2.0)
Mariners 74-76 (-4.5)
Postgame With Dozier
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Mon: Twins (Ervin Santana) at Yankees (Jaime Garcia) , 6:05 pm CT
Tue: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Yankees (CC Sabathia), 6:05 pm CT
Wed: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), 12:08 pm CT
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TOR 4, MIN 3: Pressley Fails To Pounce, Is Victim Of A Bad Bounce
MIN 3, TOR 2: Buxton Blasts Walk-Off HR