MIN 3, SDP 1: Rosario Hits Walk-Off HR in 10th Inning
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
We knew it was unlikely the Twins would explode for double-digit runs again, but one night after slugging seven homers they really struggled to scratch across runs. Their lone run prior to extras came in the second inning. Rosario hit a leadoff double. He scored, but it was thanks to a wild pitch followed by a throwing error.
The first inning ended with a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out. Jorge Polanco, who had a full count, watched strike three go by and Joe Mauer was easily thrown out trying to steal. Polanco led off the fourth inning with a single, which was followed by an Eddie Rosario walk. But Byron Buxton, Max Kepler and Eduardo Escobar were retired in order.
The Twins got their lead off man aboard again in the sixth, as Mauer singled. Polanco bunted him over to second, but that’s as far as Mauer would go. Again, Polanco was the number three hitter tonight. He bunted. This is a regular thing now, I guess.
In the seventh, the Twins once again got their leadoff man on. Kepler singled, Escobar followed suit and Jason Castro was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Robbie Grossman grounded into a double play and Brian Dozier struck out to end the threat.
In the eighth, Polanco hit a one-out single and Buxton dropped a bunt for a two-out hit. With a tough lefty in Brad Hand on the mound, Ehire Adrianza pinch hit for Kepler (.129/.198/.168 vs LHP this season), but could not deliver.
But this team, as it has all year, just kept fighting. As much fun as I like to poke at Paul Molitor for the ridiculous bunting, his club has clearly taken heart to his message of no retreat, no surrender. Mauer hit a one-out single in the 10th before Rosario ended it with two down.
Postgame With Rosario
The Yankees beat Tampa Bay, and remain 3.0 games in front of the Twins. At the time this published, the Twins held a 2.5 game advantage over the Angels, but they were beating the Astros 9-0.
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Thu: Twins (Jose Berrios) vs. Blue Jays (Brett Anderson), 7:10 pm CT
Fri: Twins (Bartolo Colon) vs. Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:10 pm CT
Sat: Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 6:10 pm CT
MIN 16, SDP 0: Twins Hit 7 HRs, Set New Record
KC 11, MIN 3: Big Dud from Big Sexy & Co.
KC 5, MIN 2: Molitor Pushes All the Wrong Buttons in Loss
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