Dobnak: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Jeffers (1)
Bottom 3 WPA: Astudillo -.127, Dobnak -.124, Colome -.100,
Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs)
Squandered Opportunities in the 1st
Just two batters into the ballgame, the Twins already had a threat mounting against Orioles starting pitcher Matt Harvey, after Jorge Polanco leadoff the game with a double, and was followed by a walk from Josh Donaldson. That opportunity, like many others before it this season, was not taken advantage of, as three and four hitters Alex Kirilloff and Nelson Cruz both struck out before Trevor Larnach grounded out into the shift to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Orioles put together and even greater threat, as the first three batters to face Randy Dobnak all reached base to load them up with nobody out. Freddy Galvis then struck a hard line drive up the middle that looked destined to be a single, however, thanks to the shift, Jorge Polanco was positioned perfectly to snare the line drive and double up Trey Mancini at second to give Dobnak two desperately needed outs. Dobnak then got out of the jam by getting DJ Stewart to flyout to left to end the inning.
Jeffers Picks Up Where Garver Left Off
The Twins received bad news today, as catcher Mitch Garver needed to undergo surgery to repair damage done in Tuesday night’s ballgame when he was struck in the groin with a foul ball. Timing could not have been worse, as Garver was coming off a great month of May where he easily led all Twins hitters with a 183 wRC+.
As a result of the injury, Garver was placed on the 10-Day IL and Ryan Jeffers was recalled from St. Paul to replace him, and it did not take long for him to do that as Jeffers blasted a home run in his first plate appearance to give the Twins a 1-0 lead in the second.
In the eighth, with the Twins trailing 6-1, Jeffers drilled an opposite field flyball to the right-centerfield gap. For a second it appeared as though Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins would track it down, but the ball glanced off his glove and made it to the wall. This allowed Nick Gordon, who had reached on a single to leadoff the inning, to score from first and Ryan Jeffers to treck all the way around to third for what was not only Jeffers’ first career MLB triple, but his first triple since he became a professional in 2018. Jeffers would later come in to score on a Jorge Polanco sac-fly to cut the Orioles lead to three.
Orioles Bats Came to Play in Middle Innings
Things were cruising along well for Randy Dobnak through the first few innings. He had scattered three hits, a walk and a hit batter, but had not allowed any runs through three. However, things picked up for the Orioles in the middle innings. In the fourth, they strung together three singles together and scored a run on a throwing error from Nick Gordon that sailed into the Orioles dugout down the first baseline.
In the fifth, Dobnak was on his way to a quick 1-2-3 inning after retiring the first to Baltimore hitters. However, he then lost Freddy Galvis to a walk, and after a mound visit from pitching coach Wes Johnson, Dobnak left a hanging breaking ball over the heart of the plate that DJ Stewart did not miss, as he sent it over the wall in right to give the Orioles a 3-1 lead.
After the Twins worked around a leadoff double in the sixth, the Orioles connected for three more runs in the seventh to stretch their lead out to five runs. Caleb Thielbar began the inning by striking out two of the first three batters he faced and giving up a single to the lone batter that he didn’t strike out. He then had to be removed due to an injury and was replaced with Alex Colome. Colome then proceeded to give up a walk, before Ryan Mountcastle took him deep on this three-run home run.
Bullpen Usage Chart
The Twins will continue their road trip with a visit to Kansas City to take on the Royals in a four-game series that begins Thursday night at 7:10 pm CT. The Twins are slated to throw J.A. Happ against Kris Bubic for the Royals.