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  • Twins 5, Tigers 3: Sanchez Solid, Miranda Stays Hot, Urshela Walks It Off

    Nate Palmer

    The Minnesota Twins got a solid start from journeyman Aaron Sanchez. The bats were quiet most of the night, but they came alive in the late innings and ended it in the 10th frame with the exclamation point coming from the happy new dad, Gio Urshela. 

    Image courtesy of Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

    Twins Video


    Box Score
    SP: Aaron Sanchez: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K (81 pitches, 51 strikes (62.9%))
    Home Runs: Gio Urshela (10)
    Top 3 WPA: Jose Miranda (.536), Gio Urshela (.231), Jharel Cotton (.089) 


    Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)


    The Minnesota Twins returned home on trade deadline eve to face off against the Tigers. While the hope was that the Twins may have acquired some pitching help via trade by this point in time, the reality is they were forced to turn to recent minor-league signing Aaron Sanchez for the start Monday evening. 

    Since joining the Twins organization, Sanchez has made eight starts for the St. Paul Saints while sporting a 4.26 ERA with 11 walks and 26 strikeouts over 38 innings. Sanchez’s time in the majors this season came with the Washington Nationals, where he struggled to an 8.33 ERA in seven starts this season. 

    Tigers Strike First
    The second inning may have quickly been giving Sanchez flashbacks to how his season began in Washington. A walk and then a single quickly put runners on the corners with one out. Then facing Tucker Barnhardt, a ground out to the right side of the infield was able to score Jeimer Candelario to give the Tigers the early 1-0 lead. 

    The positive to that second inning is that with a runner still in scoring position, Sanchez bounced back and struck out Akil Baddoo to end the inning and minimize the damage.  

    Free baserunners came back to haunt Sanchez again in the 4th inning. A walk to Miguel Cabrera and hitting Willi Castro with a pitch set Barnhart up for his second RBI of the night. The catcher took advantage of that opportunity by lining a single to center field to bring Cabrera home and extend the lead to 2-0. Even though the free passes hurt Sanchez, he did limit the damage by striking out Baddoo again to end the inning. 

    Garlick exits game
    Kyle Garlick, who was in the game to try and fulfill his customary role as lefty masher, exited the game early with what the team has called rib inflammation. Alex Kirilloff came off the bench to replace him, but there is lots of concern on whether or not Kirilloff should have been in the game himself. He still suffers from pain in his wrist while he swings the bat. 

    With Max Kepler still out due to his toe and Gilberto Celestino on the paternity list, options became limited fast, with the only other outfielder available being Byron Buxton. Buxton was on a scheduled rest day Monday evening. 

    In the eighth inning, Tim Beckham pinch hit for Kirilloff and took over in leftfield, which gave relief to the concerns. 

    Sanchez with solid outing
    There was plenty of speculation around what exactly the Twins would get out of Sanchez in his first start for his new team. The one-time dominant starter has not looked like that for some time. Monday evening, he provided a lift to a banged-up Twins rotation that needed it. 

    Sanchez made it through five innings. He struck out eight Tiger batters and induced 14 swings and misses while allowing two runs. 

    Bats finally come alive in the eighth
    For most of the night, the Twins bats were quiet. Outside of what Nick Gordon was able to do, it felt like the bats were lifeless. That was until the eighth inning when Michael Fulmer took the mound. Jorge Polanco got the hit parade started. Consecutive hits by Polanco, Carlos Correa, Luis Arraez, and a two-run single from Jose Miranda put the Twins on the scoreboard. Miranda’s single evened the score at two. 

    Base-running error shuts down the ninth
    The Twins looked to be making a bid to walk off the ball game in the ninth inning. Gordon provided some more spark to start the inning and was on third base with Correa up to bat with two outs. Correa worked a walk, but on ball four, the ball kicked away from Tigers catcher, Tucker Barnhardt. Gordon started to move toward home. Two steps in changed his mind, but he couldn’t make it back to third in time before being thrown out. 

    Luis Arraez would have been up with the bases loaded and two outs. Instead, the Twins took the field as the game went into extra innings. What will certainly also be questioned about the ninth inning is why didn’t Buxton pinch-hit for Mark Contreras.  

    On to the tenth
    Griffin Jax was given the tenth inning, with Willi Castro standing on second. After a diving catch by Contreras in right field off the bat of Eric Haase that moved Castro to third base, Baddoo, who had struck in each of his three previous at-bats, hit the ball up the middle, past the drawn-in infield to score Castro and give the Tigers the lead. 

    Urshela walks it off
    The Twins weren't ready to return to the field for the eleventh inning. With one out, Jose Miranda came up big again with an RBI single to tie the game. With two outs, Gio Urshela walked up to the plate with Miranda on second and made sure there was no doubt the winning run would cross the plate. Urshela, fresh off the paternity list, hit his tenth home run of the season to give the Twins the win. 


    The injuries and their effect on the team were again evident Monday night. Also, once again, the Twins figured out a way to scrape together the win. Hopefully, through tomorrow the Twins will add via the trade deadline, but for tonight Aaron Sanchez looked like he wants to be one of those deadline additions to help the Twins down the stretch. 

    What’s Next? 
    The Twins will look to right the ship tomorrow against the Tigers. This time they will send right-hander Chris Archer to the mound for his 18th start of the 2022 season. The Tigers will send right-hander Matt Manning to the mound. It will only be Manning’s third start of 2022. After eight total innings in his previous two starts, Manning currently sits at a 2.25 ERA. The hope will be that the Twins bats will bump that up by the end of Tuesday evening. 

    Postgame Interview


    Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet

    Moran 0 25 0 16 0 41
    Cotton 0 13 0 0 27 40
    Pagan 0 0 20 20 0 40
    Jax 0 0 11 0 20 31
    Megill 0 0 7 23 0 30
    Duffey 0 0 28 0 0 28
    Duran 0 0 11 0 10 21
    Smith 0 0 0 0 3 3
    Cano 0 0 0 0 0 0





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    Sanchez did what was asked. The Twins need a fifth starter one more time before going back to four for a couple of series.

    Miranda is HOT HOT HOT!

    With the third abseman running in for a possible bunt in the 9th, why didn't Gordon try and steal third at least. Contreras was pretty pitiful trying to bunt. Yes, Buxton could've pinch-hit...or Caleb Hamilton (wait).

    You can't play with a short bench. Especially now.

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    Beckham had played a little LF for Seattle a season or three ago.  Not a lot, but surely he's had reps out there in practice over the years.  They had given him the opportunity to be a utility guy in St Paul this season and while he didn't appear in a game there in the OF, maybe they gave him drills out there.  Anyway, an unanticipated substitution but not total desperation, and a logical choice given the circumstances and options at hand.

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    Where would we be without Miranda? Good to see him translating his 2021 minor league season to the majors, he's a keeper. As for Sanchez, could we move him to the pen? He still has good stuff and has been a starter his whole career - they may find a gem in the rough.

    Now it's Falvey and Levine's time... come through with some trades. I'm not asking for the farm system to be cleared out, but we've got to get another starter, two relievers, and a backup catcher at the minimum. This team isn't great, but who knows if a spark to the system could put us back in contention. At least try to makeup for the failures of the 2019 and 2020 trade deadlines!

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    Nice game by Sanchez. Guy had just an amazing year way back in 2016 with a 15-2 record and a 3.00 ERA. If he can dig down and find any remaining magic in that arm, now's the time.

    Twins are still limping since the break with a 4-4 record, but would probably be 2-6 if it weren't for Jose Miranda. It would be nice if guys like Buxton, Correa, Polanco and Arraez were carrying this team in August - gonna be pretty hard to make the playoffs if those guys don't get hot. And by "get hot" I mean something like an 8 game hitting streak, with games that include multiple hits and a few bombs sprinkled in. Going 2-for-4 with a HR and then going hitless for the next 4 games isn't enough. These guys are all All-Stars, somebody needs to step up before this thing gets away from them. 

    I had a dream that the Twins traded Dylan Bundy to the White Sox. Doesn't make much sense, but dreams rarely do! 

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    Urshela continues as one of the quietest Twins that must stay with this team. Durable, low key, consistent in the field and the plate. This guy is a solid type similar to Polanco. Guys you need on a team but need to have a couple of super studs in the lineup with. Gamer! 

    The talk has shifted this year from Larnach and Kirilloff to Miranda. I think this guy is for real. We can let Kepler, Sano, Jeffers, and even Buxton go. I know this will draw daggers. Kirilloff may also be a guy to think about with the wrist issue plaguing him. We have outfielders, (though injuries seem to follow and none with Buxton's power), so let's give something to get pitching.

    My thoughts only!

    Twins geezer.... out!


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    Nice win against a very poor and depleted Tigers team.  Twins need pitching and catching help.  Not sure if Twins will pull off anything, or at least anything worth while.  Way too many injuries.  Plus our great prospects are either injured or underperforming or both.  I hope Falvey and Company can figure out something to help a floundering team.  That is their job isn't it?  But we already hear the same excuses that everyone is looking for pitching.  The problem in my opinion is the Twins didn't do nearly enough to upgrade the pitching this off season.  Entering the season with such questionable starting pitching was fool hearty.  And the short starts, either by design and/ or performance has put a huge strain on an already shaky bullpen.  Let's go Twins.  We need to sweep the Tigers.  We have Toronto and the dodgers on the horizon.

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    I’m so conflicted about last night. On one hand the pitching staff stepped up huge last night and kept things manageable, and clutch hitting late in the game. On the other hand:

    - we shouldn’t need to walk off against the Tigers

    - 7 innings of anemic offense will NOT cut it. Not in a pennant race
    - Miranda is going to need a lot of time in the training room because his back has got to be killing him while he’s carrying the team 

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    Nice win - the team showed lots of heart to keep at it to produce a W. 

    The bottom of the 9th though was classic Twins lack of fundamentals baseball. 1st and 2nd with no outs is followed by a K on three failed bunt attempts, a long fly that would’ve won the game if the bunt had been successful, and Gordon getting picked off 3rd on ball four which would have loaded the bases for baseball’s best hitter. Hard to make that up.

    Oh well, let’s get ‘em again today!

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