One of the craziest games in recent memory of course turns out to be a Twins loss, but it was still a pretty fun one to watch. This is going to be a long one, guys. Bear with me!
The game started out as a duel of journeymen starters, with Andrew Albers going for the Twins against Anthony Ranaudo. Albers gave up 5 runs (3 earned) and Ranaudo allowed 9. Both of them went 4.2 innings, and with a score like that it didn’t seem like the pair would be an afterthought by the end of the game. They would be.
Chicago scored in the 1st when Jose Abreu, who hates Minnesota, hit a 3 run dong. One of the runners on base, Melky Cabrera, was there because Miguel Sano started at third base today. After making a pretty nice pick, which actually made me audibly say "nice" he threw wide of first base. This is the price for my hubris.
Now keep Jose Abreu in mind. We’ll be back to him.
In the second, right as we were all prepared for another shitty game, the Twins loaded the bases with absolutely no outs. In typical Twins fashion, the next batter struck out and the one after hit a shallow fly for the second out. It was a trap. Classic Twins. Byron Buxton came to the plate and hit a grand freaking slam. Unlike previous Twins grand slams, this one was a real 4-run grand slam.
Buxton has really turned a corner since his recent promotion (his 33rd of the year, or something) and this was the cherry on top. It was one of those lovely baseball moments that make you beam from ear to ear like a stupid child for minutes on end. So thank you Byron for reminding me how much I love baseball.
Baseball would later remind me that she’s a huge bitch, but for now let’s focus on the good.
In the 3rd Miguel Sano and 5-time felon John Ryan Murphy both hit RBI singles. This was Murphy’s first RBI as a Twin, which is encouraging to see. In the 4th, Red Hot Brian Dozier launched a solo shot, his 35th of the year. He’s on pace to have one of the best HR years by a second basemen ever. The American league record is 38.
Taking a quick break from the Twins doing all the scoring, Jose Abreu singled in his own run in the top of the 5th. In the bottom of the inning, Minnesota answered with a HR from John Ryan Murphy of all people, who knocked one of the left field foul pole. Dozier added another run later when he doubled in Buxton.
Fast forward to the 7th with the Twins up 9 to 5. With Taylor Rogers pitching, Jose Abreu launched a 3-run shot. No I didn’t just accidentally write that again. Abreu hit 2 separate 3-run homers and totaled 7 RBIs on the day. Ladies and Gentleman the new Paul Konerko.
In the bottom of said inning Miguel Sano gave us a SANO-DOUBTER (his 22nd of the year) bringing the score to 10-8. In the 8th, an RBI ground-out by Adam Eaton made that 10-9.
Now in the 9th, Brandon Kintzler set out to get the save. He had walked a whole 3 batters on the season. He would walk 2 more this inning, including Justin Morneau who thankfully didn’t get the go-ahead hit because my heart couldn’t have taken that. Avisail Garcia came up and singled in two runs. The Twins were now losing.
Blown Save Count: 1
Sano led off the bottom of the 9th with a walk. After Rosario struck out, pinch hitter, lumberjack and hero Kurt Suzuki smacked a double, tying the game up at 11.
Blown Save Count: 2
Free Baseball happened for a bit, but none of it mattered until the 12th. With Pat Dean pitching Tim Anderson hit a bases-clearing double, scoring two.
Blown Save Count: 3 (Almost kinda. It ended up being an L instead.)
Minnesota did not give up. Jorge Polanco led off with a walk. Mauer followed with one of his own. Plouffe check-swinged a liner back to pitcher Tommy Kahnle for the first out. Eduardo Escobar walked, bringing Eddie Rosario up with the bases juiced. Rosario hit a bouncer up the middle, but it deflected of Kahnle towards Todd Frazier at 3rd. He made the flukey play and the Twins finally lost.
Byron Buxton: 3-6. He had a double and a single to go with his grand salami. Only one strikeout on the day too. I hate to jump the gun, but it certainly feels like the Buxton we all wanted has finally arrived.
John Ryan Greg Steve Andrew James Murphy: 3-4 with 2 RBI and a HR. Murphy had as many hits today as he had total with the Twins in his first stint this season.
Kurt Suzuki: 2-2 with a huge RBI in the 9th to keep the game going. Sadly this RBI will be forgotten.
Eddie Rosario: 0-7.
Max Kepler: 1-7 with 5(!) strikeouts. Ouch.
Twins Pitching not named Buddy or O’Rourke: 13 runs allowed.
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