SP: Pablo Lopez 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K (101 pitches, 64 strikes (63.36% strikes))
Home Runs: Alex Kirilloff (3)
Top 3 WPA: Pablo Lopez .168, Willi Castro .072, Edouard Julien .069
Bottom 3 WPA: Jorge Lopez -.272, Ryan Jeffers -.125, Kyle Farmer -.120
Win Probability Chart
Lopez effective through trials and tribulations
Pablo Lopez made his 10th start of the season for the Twins Sunday and had a strong command of the strike zone allowing only two walks to the Angels hitters. Unfortunately with that command of the strike zone came a lot of hits from the Angels.
The Angels mounting hit after hit against Lopez put him to the test throughout the game. The fourth inning proved to be the biggest challenge in the game as Hunter Renfroe and Jared Walsh had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Renfroe would score to tie up the game at one from a Gio Urshela RBI sac fly. But Walsh made a base running mistake, second-guessing his tag from first to second allowing the Twins to get an unexpected double play.
Another test came Lopez’s way in the fifth when he allowed his first walk of the game to Angels shortstop Zach Neto. He retired Mickey Moniak and Mike Trout back-to-back after Neto, but the Twins did not want to take any chances with Ohtani at the plate and intentionally walked him. The intentional walk turned out to be the right move as Lopez struck out Renfroe to get out of his second jam in the game.
Despite those jams, Lopez ended his afternoon pitching into the seventh after walking the leadoff man. His nine strikeouts Sunday afternoon put him at 75 total on the season and kept him only behind Kevin Gausman of the Blue Jays (81 K’s) and Ohtani (77 K’s) for the American League lead in strikeouts.
Sneaking in a run against Shohei
The Twins faced their greatest challenge of the road trip on the mound with Shohei Ohtani having the start for the Angels on Sunday. Aside from walks to Joey Gallo and Edouard Julien to start the first and second innings, Ohtani dominated the Twins lineup the first time through the order.
It looked as though he’d maintain that dominance until he walked Gallo again with two outs in the third. That’s when the clutch version of Carlos Correa showed up for the team, smacking an RBI double into center field to get the first run of the game.
Ohtani dominated the Twins hitters following that run as he tallied up nine strikeouts and ended his afternoon on the mound striking out the side in the sixth.
Twins miss another bases-loaded opportunity.
Ohtani’s exit from the game after the sixth would be exactly what the Twins needed to get their offense going. Kyle Farmer led off the seventh with a single, Willi Castro followed with one of his own and Donovan Solano drew a walk to give the Twins a chance to take the lead back with the bases loaded.
Unfortunately, the Twins, once again, failed to deliver with the bases loaded. Ryan Jeffers and Gallo both struck out leaving the game tied at one.
Kirilloff receives a huge break
While he put the Angels up in the seventh, Moniak had a bad fielding blunder that proved to be costly for the Halos. With one out, Kirilloff drilled a ball to left field and Moniak practically robbed him of a home run, until the ball slipped out of his glove when he tried to show the umps he caught the ball.
The huge break for the Twins brought them within a run putting them behind 3-2. But that's as close as they would get as the Angels scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a double by Matt Thaiss that scored the final run of the game.
The Twins return home for a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Bailey Ober is set to throw for the Twins against the Giants' Alex Cobb with first pitch set for 6:40 p.m.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet
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