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Minnesota Twins 4, Cleveland Indians 2: Aaron Slegers wins first MLB start, no thanks/thanks to Max Kepler

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The tall man did well.

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Makeup game crowd visible in background.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Aaron Slegers was very effective in his first MLB start, then Max Kepler both lost & gave Minnesota the lead.

Called up as the 26th man for today’s doubleheader, Slegers allowed only one solo Jay Bruce shot in front of his family. For a tall guy, he doesn’t throw very hard (low 90s) but he managed to avoid control issues, which tend to be a common tall guy problem. Slegers made it into the seventh inning — the first Twins starter to last more than five innings since Bartolo Colon on 8/9.

Paul Molitor pulled Slegers after he gave up a one-out single to Edwin Encarnacion. Slegers had only thrown 82 pitches at this point, so Molitor was probably trying to avoid putting too much late-game pressure on the kid.

Trevor Hildenberger came in to face Carlos Santana, and it didn’t go great. Santana lined a double to right that Max Kepler misplayed, allowing the leadfoot Encarnacion to score and Santana to reach third. Hildenberger would get out of it, though, retiring the next four batters in a row.

Ah, yes, Herr von Kepler. He didn’t start this game, as he usually doesn’t against lefthanders. But Robbie Grossman collided with Byron Buxton and had to leave the game an inning later. What apparently seemed to be a sore hand ended up being a fractured thumb for poor Robbie. He’ll probably go on the DL.

So almost right after booting that Santana ball, Kepler was able to grab a bat and launch a solo dong off Mike Clevenger. That put the Twins up 3-2, and Eduardo Escobar would add an RBI double one inning later. Taylor Rogers and Matt Belisle kept Cleveland off the scoreboard thereafter.

The Indians had their own AAA starter in lefty Ryan Merritt. He gave up the first Twins run, an Eduardo Escobar sac fly that plated Brian Dozier. It could have been worse, though — Joe Mauer was tagged out at home the very next play. Next inning, Byron Buxton was able to steal second, advance to third, and get sac flied home himself. He originally reached first via a Giovanny Soto error, so Merritt wasn’t charged with the run.

Per Cory Provus on radio, Slegers has to be demoted after the game. Something about only being added to the 40-man roster today. I never understand the rules.

Your comment of the gamethread? Apparently Panthers FTW went to high school with Slegers’s sister and had a little bit of a crush on her. So here she is, dancing in a Riff Raff video (she’s the blonde):

Robot Roll Call:

# Commenter # Comments
1 Not_a_spambot 54
2 Panthers FTW 54
3 SooFoo Fan 46
4 Joel Hernandez 35
5 CG19 31
6 less cowbell, more 'neau 30
7 Can't Read Good 25
8 Daniel Carlson 23
9 myjah 21
10 Gunnarthor 15
11 Brandon Brooks 15
12 gintzer 9
13 Rahil Modi 8
14 blackmankitteh 8
15 Bb_referee 4
16 gonzobob 3
17 Coach Farmer 2
18 Astrogeek 2