This was one of those games that holds your attention for a while, but ends with you waking up an hour after the conclusion, groggy from a late-evening nap, wondering where you are, and whether or not Tyler Kinley is still giving up runs.
It might not look like it at first glance, but Kyle Gibson was halfway decent tonight. In a rare departure from the Good Gibby/Bad Gibby formula, Halfway-Decent Gibby was tagged with four earned runs, but he struck out seven, only walked one, and two of the runs he was charged for were let in by a struggling Gabriel Moya.
It was largely the bullpen that screwed things up this evening. The score was 2-1 Tampa Bay most of the way; the Twins had plated an early run on a sac fly in the first, then C.J. Cron gave Tampa Bay the edge with a two-run jack in the third. It was pretty quiet sailing from then on, with Minnesota only getting two more runners into scoring position through the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, consecutive extra-base hits by Joey Wendle and Wilson Ramos extended the Tampa Bay lead to 3-1 and knocked Gibby out of the game. Gabriel Moya came in and got the second out, but a two-run single by Denard “2008 6th-Place Finisher in Rookie of the Year Voting” Span and C.J. Cron’s second two-run homer of the night broke the game wide open to 7-1 Tampa Bay.
The eighth was not much better. The Twins tried to rally back in the top half, with back-to-back singles leading off the frame, but Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer contributed a strikeout and a GIDP to quickly end that “threat.” Tyler Kinley pitched a rough bottom half, giving up a homer, three singles, a walk, a wild pitch, and the Rays’ 8th-through-10th runs.
Meanwhile, what’s that Snell? Oh, it’s Blake Snell, who decided to keep being a good pitcher so far this season. Snell went seven strong, giving up just one Twins run on five hits, walking none and striking out six. He lowered his ERA to 2.54 for the year.
Some positives for the day — Ehire Adrianza made a couple top-notch defensive plays at shortstop, and Brian Dozier extended his hitting streak to 15 games, which ties the team record.
Tomorrow, in a thrilling clash of generational pitching talents, Phil Hughes will make his first start in almost a calendar year against the Tampa Bay bullpen. Don’t miss this one, folks.
2B Brian Dozier (2-for-4, R)
LF Eddie Rosario (2-for-3)
SS Ehire Adrianza (1-for-3, good defense)
Gabriel Moya (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER)
Tyler Kinley (1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, BB, K)
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