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Comeback falls short as Twins lose 9-7

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It was a rough start for rookie Tyler Duffey, who fell victim to a potent Toronto lineup.

Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins started the night off with a crooked inning, something they haven't been doing lately.

An RBI single by Miguel Sano scored Hicks from first. Plouffe later doubled scoring Mauer and Sano, giving the Twins and rookie Tyler Duffey a 3-0 lead. The 3 runs in the first were more than they had scored in the previous two games (2).

It was a rough first start for Tyler Duffey, who seemed to be a bit rattled, understandably, by nerves. Also, there are probably easier lineups to face for a first start (such as the Twins). He walked Tulowitzki and then gave up a 2 run home run to Josh Donaldson. The 2nd inning was even worse, as the Jays lead off with singles by Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar. Duffey got ahead of Donaldson but lost him on a walk to fill the bases. He then fell behind 3-1 to Jose Bautista, who got a pitch in his wheelhouse and belted it for a grand slam.

The homer gave Toronto a 6-3 lead and Duffey wouldn't come out to pitch the 3rd. So after only giving up 1 HR in 79 IP at AAA, Duffey gives up a pair in just two innings. Welcome to The Majors, Tyler Duffey.

The Jays struck again in the 4th against the new pitcher J.R. Graham. Former Twin Ben Revere hit a home run single, Tulo and Donaldson struck out, Bautista walked, and Edwin Encarnacion hit a 2-out 3-run home run. At the time the 9-3 deficit seemed insurmountable, especially with the offensive struggles we've been going through.

The Twins weren't done yet, though. In the top of the 5th, Shane Robinson reached on an error by Donaldson, and advanced to 3rd on an Aaron Hicks double. Brian Dozier popped out, but Mauer came up with a 2 run single, cutting the lead to 4. Miguel Sano then came up and hit a massive 2 run home run, bringing the score to 9-7 Toronto and knocking out Drew Hutchison.

The bats went silent for both teams afterwards, however. Give credit to the Twins bullpen, as they were able to keep the game within reach. Boyer, Jepsen, and Fien all pitched scoreless innings after Graham's meltdown. The Twins did have a chance in the 6th after Escobar hit a double, but he was left stranded. The Twins went quietly against the Toronto bullpen in the 7th and 8th.

The last chance for the Twins came in the 9th. On the mound was former Twin LaTroy Hawkins. Escobar led off with a single, then Eduardo Nunez pinch hit for Eric Fryer (0-3, 3 K) and stroked a single to center. Shane Robinson was called on to bunt and did so, sending the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. With the tying run at 2nd, Hicks popped out and Dozier lined out to end the game. That gives LaTroy Hawkins a save against every team in MLB.

The loss is the Twins fourth straight, as the win column has proven to be elusive in the second half this year. The silver lining is that the offense was finally able to show some life, unfortunately it just came at a time when the other team scored 9.

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STUDS:

Sano, Mauer, Hicks, Bullpen (sans-Graham)

DUDS:

Duffey, Graham, Dozier (0-5, 5 LOB)