Fernando Romero was off, then on, then off again, and then on again today. He mostly worked out of trouble, and did enough to earn a win. His teammates did the rest, and picked him up with some run support.
Ian Kinsler didn’t lead the game off with a home run. He did take a walk though, and then take second on a wild pitch, and third on a passed ball. Mike Trout got rung up on what should have been ball four. A four pitch walk (which became intentional at 3-0) to Justin Upton put runners on the corner with one man down, and Albert Pujols at the plate. The veteran slugger blooped a single over Eduardo Escobar’s head, and the walk haunted. Luis Valbuena struck out on another outside pitch, and Zack Cozart hit one straight to Jake Cave, and somehow Romero escaped the first with only one run scored. The Twins used two mound visits though, one each by Garver and Alston.
Fortunately, Romero wasn’t the only one haunted in the first inning. Robbie Grossman made a loud out to left field, and then Eddie Rosario walked. Another loud out to left from Escobar brought Logan Morrison to the plate, and he took a fastball out of the park to right field. The 369-foot two-run bomb was his seventh of the season. Miguel Sano popped out in foul territory on a 3-0 pitch, and ended the inning. Neither starter was able to keep the ball anywhere near the zone though.
The second inning started out ugly for Fernando as well. He got to two strikes on Jose Fernandez, before giving up a ground-rule double that barely stayed fair. Martin Maldonado was grazed by the first pitch he saw, and even though I think he swung into it, he was sent to first base. Another wild pitch advanced both runners. Two infield flies and a Mike Trout line-drive straight to Morrison got Romero out of the jam somehow. Maybe there is a baseball god on our side.
Tropeano, unlike our guy, seemed to settle in for the second inning. He sat down three Twins in a row, the last two on strikes. Romero did seem to find something in the third. Dick Bremer noted that his velocity seemed to pick up a bit, and he got better results — a one, two, three inning, with two strikeouts of his own. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last.
Romero hit Zack Cozart to start the fourth inning, and then gave up another double to Jose Fernandez, which scored Cozart and tied the game, with no one out and a runner on second. Martin Maldonado singled to put runners on the corner, and then Chris Young hit a sacrifice fly to Jake Cave, and the Angels took the lead. Still, Romero did a decent job of limiting the damage. He gave up a single to Kinsler, but then got a huge strikeout of Trout, and induced a groundball from Justin Upton to end the inning.
Meanwhile, lets check in on Nick Tropeano... he was grooving. Ten straight Twins retired. Max Kepler finally broke that streak by taking a walk to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. That didn’t really help the Twins though, as he was erased on a failed hit-and-run where Mitch Garver didn’t make contact. The worst part, of course, is that Garver doubled to the corner on the next pitch, which probably would have scored the runner. Jake Cave finally collected his second big-league hit, and scored Garver on a single to tie the game back up. Ehire Adrianza sent a ball into the corner that scored Cave and took the lead. Adrianza ended up on third, credited with his first three-bagger of the season. Robbie Grossman took a walk, and that was the end of Tropeano’s day.
Cam Bedrosian came in to face Eddie Rosario, with one out and runners at first and third. Rosie struck out, but fortunately we had another Ed in reserve. Eduardo Escobar cracked a double down the first base line, and the RBI gave the Twins a bit more breathing room. Logan Morrison couldn’t add any more, and the inning finally ended.
Taylor Rogers came out for the sixth inning, and did his job. Three up and three down. Jim Johnson pitched the sixth for the Angels, and once again Max Kepler took a walk. This time he successfully stole second though. The big highlight of the sixth though was Jake Cave collecting his third MLB hit, and his second MLB home run. Whatever they taught him in the Jake Cave must have been effective.
In the seventh, Addison Reed worked himself into and out of trouble, but didn’t give up any runs. Oliver Drake did basically the same thing for the Angels. Robbie Grossman lead off with a single. Eduardo Escobar hit his second double of the day, and 26th of the season to put men at second and third. Logan Morrison struck out, and Miguel Sano flew out to right, and the inning ended without scoring.
In the eighth inning, the Twins had a great chance to tack on a bit more. Garver hit a single, and then Jake Cave followed it up with his first career double, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. Ehire Adrianza walked to load them up for Professional Hitter Robbie Grossman. Grossman hit a tapper to first, and the Angels took the force at home to keep the bases loaded, with two outs, for Eddie Rosario. The crowd fired up the “Eddie! Eddie!” Chant.
Eduardo Paredes, on the mound throughout the inning dug in. A ball, a strike, and Rosario watched the wind gently blowing out. Rosario watched a low strike, that looked like a ball. Paredes went upstairs, and blew a bad ball past baseball’s best hitter in that situation. Strike three.
Fernando Rodney came on to take us home, in a non-save situation. He walked his first batter, and then gave up a single to Ian Kinsler. With no one out and two one, Mike Trout hit a grounder to Escobar, and advanced the runners, in exchange for an out. Justin Upton popped out in the infield. Pesky Albert Pujols hit a two-out single that scored two men, and then walked Luis Valbuena to bring Zack Cozart up as the potential winning run. Finally things mercifully came to an end, with a pop fly to Escobar.
- Jake Cave 3-4, HR, double, 3 RBI
- Logan Morrison 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Eduardo Escobar 2-4, 2 doubles, RBI
NO DUDS, TWINS WIN
ROLL CALL OF THE ROBOTS
COMMENT OF THE GAME
Coach Farmer: CAVEMAN HIT BALL FAR
Cave had himself a game, that’s for sure.