Apparently no one told the Pirates about the unwritten rule against hitting a first inning grand slam off Lance Lynn.
Needless to say, it was a rough debut for Lynn in a Twins uniform. The right-hander couldn’t find the zone at all. After walking the first batter he faced, Lynn gave up an RBI double to Gregory Polanco, giving the Pirates an early 1-0 lead. Lynn went on to walk two more batters to load the bases, and yep, Colin Moran came up and hit a grand salami. Here’s a reaction shot from right after it happened:
It almost felt inevitable.
Amazingly, Lynn somehow made it 4.0 innings total and didn’t give up another run after the first. He did continue to struggle with the zone, though, walking a career-high six batters in the game. No word on whether the cold weather (it was 40 degrees at game time) was to blame, or if Lance Lynn is just... not actually that good?
Meanwhile, Pirates starter Jameson Taillon sailed through his first two times through the Twins lineup, giving up only two hits. By the time the batters came around for a third time, though, things got different. Brian Dozier launched a solo dinger in the 6th inning —his third in two games — to get the Twins on the board. A subsequent Joe Mauer single chased Taillon from the game, but his replacement, Edgar Santana, couldn’t stop the bleeding. A double from Miguel Sano, followed by a wild pitch and another double (nearly a home run) from Eduardo Escobar turned it into a one-run game.
The Twins threatened again in the 7th inning, as Jason Castro drew a walk and Logan Morrison was hit by a pitch to put two guys on with no outs for Dozier. Dozier, however, promptly hit into a double play. It was a bit ironic, considering had Dozier just bunted, it would have likely led to a better outcome. Mauer grounded out in the next play to end the inning.
In the 8th inning, The Twins again got two men on board as both Sano and Max Kepler walked, but no one was able to get them home. In the 9th, the Twins batters went three up, three down.
It was a valiant effort by the Twins — except for Lynn, of course.
- Brian Dozier — 1-for-5 with a home run.
- Eduardo Escobar — 2-for-4 with an RBI double and one run scored.
- Trevor Hildenberger — 1.0 innings pitched, no walks, no hits.
- Lance Lynn — I mean, duh.
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