MIN 8, KC 5: Rosario Drives in 4, Hildenberger Holds it Together
Image courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY SportsSnapshot (chart via Fangraphs)
The Twins had built an early 5-1 lead but saw that advantage slip. Ervin Santana wasn’t in top form, giving up four runs over five innings, but Hildenberger got this game back on track.
Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers made a bit of a mess in the seventh inning, combining to give up three straight singles to open that frame. Hildenberger entered with runners on first and second, no outs and the Twins clinging to a one-run lead. He got the first batter he faced to ground into a double play and put Lorenzo Cain away to end the threat.
Up 6-5 in the top of the eighth, the Twins got a big RBI triple from Grossman and a run-scoring double from Mauer to open up some breathing room again. Hildenberger stayed in and delivered another scoreless inning in the bottom of the eighth. Matt Belisle pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to earn his seventh save.
Eddie Rosario played a huge role for the Twins in building up their early lead. He ended the night 2-for-4 with his 21st homer of the season, a stolen base and four RBI. Eduardo Escobar also homered, his 16th of the year, and was a triple shy of the cycle. Jorge Polanco drew three walks.
Oh, and Byron Buxton did some things. In the third inning, he unsuccessfully tried to bunt his way on. Why was that noteable? Well, per StatCast, his home-to-first base time was the fastest they ever recorded for a right-handed hitter.
Pretty cool, right? Well, so was this:
Buxton was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts at the plate, but who knows what might have happened in this one if he hadn’t reeled in that catch. Fine play in a big spot. That’s what ended Ervin’s night.
At the conclusion of this game, the Twins trailed the Yankees by just 1.5 games for the top wild card and led the Angels by 1.5 game for the second spot. New York lost to Texas Friday and Anaheim was still in progress, but losing to the Mariners.
Postgame With Hildenberger
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Sat: Twins (Jose Berrios) at Kansas City (Jake Junis), 6:15 pm CT
Sun: Twins (Bartolo Colon) at Kansas City (Jason Vargas), 1:15 pm CT
MIN 4, KC 2: Comeback Complete
MIN 10, TB 6: Twins Prevail Thanks to Big Error
TB 2, MIN 0: Too Little, Too Late
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