For a few glorious innings it looked like the Twins would waltz their way to a win. Danny Santana cracked a ringing double to lead off the bottom of the first, Brian Dozier walked, Joe Mauer picked up a ground-rule double into the left-center field gap, Kennys Vargas singled, and then Oswaldo Arcia took Trevor Bauer into the right-field concourse for a three-run shot. It was 5-0 before the Indians could record the first out of the game.
Then, Cleveland just started picking away. Yan Gomes took Kyle Gibson deep for a solo shot in the second. Zach Walters notched a two-run single in the fourth. Michael Bourn scored on a Gibson wild pitch in the fifth. Brian Duensing was on the hill for three runs in the sixth, one of which was charged to Gibson, and Duensing didn't actively get anyone out himself. He came on with two away and only escaped because Bourn was caught in a rundown between first and second.
The Twins had other opportunities to put runs on the board. A Mauer single in the fifth put runners on the corners with two away but they came back empty handed. Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez singled to lead off the seventh but, again, Minnesota had nothing to show for their efforts.
It was a disappointing contest all around, after the exciting first frame. The loss drops the Twins to 55-69, which puts them on pace for a 71-91 season. In June I updated my Twins win projection to 75 games. I'm not sure they'll get there.
- Jordan Schafer's on-base percentage this season is .276 (.324 with the Twins), which is a real shame. We've seen him show off his base-stealing acumen already. If he could get on base more often, he could probably get 30 to 40 steals a year.
- Oswaldo Arcia has now homered in three consecutive games. Five of his last seven hits have gone over the fence. His line has jumped to .230/.305/.444.
- Joe Mauer is batting .345/.441/.655 since his return from the disabled list. He's reached base in 19 straight games and hit in 18 of them. His OPS has risen 71 points in that time frame.
- Jared Burton threw another scoreless inning, and has now allowed just three earned runs going back to June 25. That's a 19-game stretch of 17.1 innings, including 12 strikeouts and a 1.57 ERA. In that period his ERA has dropped from 5.62 to 4.20. He's not the shut-down reliever he was a couple of years ago, but it's been good to see him establish some consistency.