Michael Pineda Shines in Return from IL
It was a brief stint on the IL for Michael Pineda, who had to miss just one start as a result of having a procedure to remove an abscess on the inner part of his thigh. This was welcome news for the Twins as Pineda has unquestionably been their best starting pitcher early on in the 2021 season.
The Baltimore Orioles jumped out on Pineda early, as Trey Mancini, who is well on his way to earning comeback player of the year honors, blasted his 11th home run of the season in the first. Luckily for the Twins, it was only a solo shot, as Cedric Mullins was thrown out trying to steal second after a leadoff single in the first.
Anthony Santander followed that Mancini home run with a double, and it looked early like Pineda was in for a rough day. That, however, would be the last hit that Pineda would surrender on the day. The third inning got off to a rough start, as Pineda walked back-to-back batters to start the inning, but he was able to retire the 2-3-4 hitters in the Orioles lineup to get out of the jam. From then on, Pineda was perfect as he retired the final 12 batters that he faced.
Miguel Sano Continues to Deliver
It has been a saying for most of his Twins career that as Miguel Sano goes, so to do the Minnesota Twins. That statement has never been truer than it has been in 2021. At the heart of the Twins struggles during the first month and a half of the season was Miguel Sano’s inability to contribute at the plate. However, the past week the Twins have looked like a whole new ball club, and that is thanks almost entirely to Sano being the hottest hitter on the planet during that stretch.
In Wednesday’s ballgame that was more of the same. After the offense struggled to muster just two hits and zero runs through the first five innings, the Twins got a little rally going in the bottom of the sixth. Max Kepler leadoff the inning with a single, and after a Nelson Cruz walk and a couple of base runner advancing groundouts, the Twins found themselves with second and third and two outs, with Sano up. In a situation that Sano has struggled in all year, he came through with a monster three-run home run that Sano took a little time to appreciate off the bat.
Twins Bullpen Shuts the Door
The Twins bullpen blowing late leads has been another theme of late, but today they got the job done, allowing just one run over three innings. Both Tyler Duffey and Caleb Thielbar pitched scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. That paved the way for Hansel Robles to come on in the 9th and pick up his third save of the season. It wasn’t the cleanest of innings for Robles, who gave up a run on two doubles, but with two outs and the trying run on second, Robles got a broken bat groundout off the bat that previously belonged to Stevie Wilkerson to end the ball game.
The Twins have a day off on Thursday, before they welcome the Kansas City Royals to town for a three game series that is slated to start at 7:10 pm CT on Friday with Randy Dobnak on the mound for the Twins.