SP: Joe Ryan: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K (84 pitches, 54 strikes (64.3%)
Home Runs: Royce Lewis (15), Alex Kirilloff (9)
Bottom 3 WPA: Joe Ryan (-0.178), Matt Wallner (-0.096), Dallas Keuchel (-0.077)
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)
With the Guardians losing to the Royals earlier in the day, the Twins magic number hit five. The Twins hoped to lower that number even further as they prepared to take on the Reds, with Joe Ryan leading the way from the mound.
Correa Exits in the Second
The Twins had an early blow dealt to them as Carlos Correa was pinch-hit for in the second inning. Correa exited due to a flare-up of his ongoing struggles with Plantar Fasciitis. Kyle Farmer replaced Correa in the lineup and at shortstop in the field. Royce Lewis remained at third base to continue his development there.
Top of Two Bad, Bottom of Two Worse
While the Twins saw their shortstop leave in the top half of the inning, the Reds put runs on the board in the bottom half. Noelvi Marte put the first run on the board with a single to center field. As Michael A. Taylor fielded the ball, Joey Votto challenged him by going first to third on the single. A move that also allowed Marte to reach second and place two runners in scoring position.
Will Benson tried to make it not matter where Votto or Marte stood on the base paths, but Taylor was involved again. Benson drilled what looked like a three-run home run. Instead, Taylor jumped and reached over the wall to turn a home run into a sac-fly, putting the Reds up 2-0.
Lewis: Same Song, Different Verse
While Connor Phillips hadn’t allowed any hits into the fourth inning, that was all about to change as Lewis stepped into the batter’s box. As Lewis had made a habit of doing when the Twins needed a big hit, he came through with one. He hit his 15th home run of the season to cut the Reds lead in half, making it 2-1.
The "Great American Bandbox"
A game in Cincinnati would only be complete with some more home runs. Benson got his revenge on Ryan and Taylor in the 4th inning. This time, he hit a two-run home run and placed it where Taylor could not bring it back in.
Alex Kirilloff didn't want to be left out of the party and hit his own solo shot in the seventh inning. The home run was Kirilloff's ninth of the season and was his only hit of the game as he went 1 for 3.
Keuchel Used Out of the Bullpen
As the Twins shuffle their pitchers in an attempt to figure out roles for the playoffs, Dallas Keuchel had an opportunity to work out of the bullpen. His first inning went smoothly, only issuing a walk. His second inning turned ugly as he gave up three runs, and the Twins went down 7-2.
Gray, Farmer Return to Cincy
Over the past season, the Twins and Reds have lined up on several trades. Sonny Gray and Farmer were both part of those trades and fully enjoyed returning to the place where they once played. As mentioned on both television and radio, Farmer is very grateful for the Reds and their willingness to allow him to play shortstop.
Gray used his familiarity to give an assist to his bullpen mates. He hooked them up with a great reservation and picked up the tab as well! On the Reds side, Spencer Steer wanted to show off his development has continued and went 3-for-4. Those three hits included a well hit double that bounced off the outfield wall.
The Twins will look to even the series on Tuesday as they send Kenta Maeda to the mound. After a seven-inning outing last time out, Maeda will look for another strong appearance tomorrow.
Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet