MIN 5, TB 3: Twins Rally, Top Rays Late
Image courtesy of © Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsBox Score
Berrios: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 64.6% strikes (64 of 99 pitches)
Home Runs: None
Multi-Hit Games: Polanco (2-for-4, 2 2B, BB), Astudillo (2-for-4, HBP), Gonzalez (2-for-4), Schoop (2-for-2, BB, HBP)
WPA of +0.1: Rosario .263, Astudillo .219, Rogers .212, Schoop .184, Polanco .126
WPA of -0.1: Sano -.132, Buxton -.166, Kepler -.187
(chart via FanGraphs)
Coming Out Swinging
After a beat down on Thursday night, the Twins were aggressive in the first inning. Max Kepler, hitting lead off, swung at the first pitch of the game and nearly hit the ceiling in the Trop. Jorge Polanco’s at-bat did not last much longer. He swung at the second pitch and laced a one-out double. Astudillo then drove him home with a single early in the count. The Twins possibly could have scored another run had Astudillo not hesitated rounding third when C.J. Cron hit one off the wall in right center.
Berrios responded with a quick shut-down bottom of the first inning. It took him less than 10 pitches to retire the side in order — not surprising for a pitcher who’s strike percentage is fourth best in the league.
After a stellar first inning, Berrios struggled with his command at times in the second and third inning. In the second inning, he issued his first walk of the game and that runner crossed the plate on a Kevin Kiermaier home run, which gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.
Berrios issued another walk in the third inning and once again that runner came across the plate. With runners on first and third, the Rays called for a double steal and ended up stealing a run from the Twins. The run may not have scored had Astudillo held onto the ball, however. A strong throw home from Schoop may have been good enough to beat the runner but Astudillo tried to tag the runner before catching the ball and the runner scored easily.
Two-Out Rallies are Awesome
Schoop drew a walk to lead off the fifth inning. He advanced to second on what should have been a double play if not for the Rays having shifted defensive positioning. He ended up standing on second with two away in the inning. Down by two, this was a scoring opportunity the Twins needed to capitalize on and that looked to be in jeopardy with two gone.
That was until Jorge Polanco stepped up and did what he’s done all year - hit the darn ball. He ripped a one-run double, making the score 3-2. Then it was La Toruga’s opportunity to pick himself up after dropping the ball that allowed the Rays to score their third run. He did not disappoint, singling to left and driving in his second run of the game. Back-to-back two out knocks tied the game at 3-3.
They did it again in the ninth. They got the bases loaded with two outs essentially for free. Rays pitcher, Diego Castillo, hit Schoop, Polanco was issued an intentional walk following a sacrifice bunt from Buxton. Astudillo fell behind 0-2 but was drilled by a slider and awarded first base, loading them up for Eddie Rosario.
The Rays went to their bullpen — again — and brought in lefty Adam Kolarek to face to the left-handed hitting Rosario. The move would prove ineffective as Rosario went opposite field and hit a two-run single past the third base bag and gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.
Quality Start for Berrios
After battling command issues in the second and third innings Berrios was able to settle in nicely and give the Twins another quality start. His final line was 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. That is what aces do, they give you a chance to win against other really good teams.
Taylor Rogers took over for Berrios with two-out in the sixth inning and the game still tied. His night finished with 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER.
Postgame With Baldelli
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Sat at TB, 12:10 pm CT (Gibson-TBD)
TB 14, MIN 3: Well … That Just Happened
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