As expected by everyone — especially me — the Twins have teed off on Cleveland’s starting pitching this weekend. Today, as everyone anticipated, Minnesota went ham on Carlos Carrasco, earning a 9-3 win and securing a series victory (that we all assumed would happen) against a divisional opponent that we had tons of confidence about facing.
As predicted, the Twins scored four in the first, thanks to a pair of two-run doubles by Eduardo Escobar and Max Kepler. And right on schedule, Joe Mauer lined a shot off Carrasco’s throwing arm in the second inning, knocking him out of the game and forcing Terry Francona to dip into a bullpen that leaves a lot to be desired.
Fernando Romero raised the spirits of the home faithful by giving up two homers in the home first, but it was all according to plan. Minnesota would get one back on a Logan Morrison double in the very next inning, and the opposition wouldn’t strike again until a sac fly made it 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
In the sixth, the Twins followed the script and added three more. The first run came on an Eddie Rosario double, and the other two scored on yet another LoMo double. This made it an 8-3 tally, which is where the score stayed until Rosario homered to right in the eighth.
Meanwhile, as many saw coming, Fernando Romero would last just four innings, but Matt Magill — who hasn’t pitched in eleven days — threw three nearly-perfect innings, facing the minimum, and only allowing Lonnie Chisenhall to reach on a hit-by-pitch. Contrast this with Cleveland, who had to use six pitchers and an outfielder (Brandon Guyer) to get the job done on the mound today.
Matt Belisle threw a bumpy but scoreless eighth, and Ryan Pressly did the same in the ninth, and the Twins took home another win against first-place Cleveland. Just like the simulations.
Let’s highlight some individual performances real quick. As the headline might suggest, Eddie Rosario had one heck of a day. After drawing a walk in the first inning, Rosario saw four pitches the rest of the game and drove them all for hits, scoring four times and driving in two.
Logan Morrison had a pair of doubles and his three runs driven in were the most of any Twin this afternoon. And Joe Mauer made some consistently hard contact, getting on base three times and scoring a pair of runs. Altogether, the lineup managed 13 hits and three walks, and went 6-for-14 with men in scoring position.
Additionally, Taylor Motter made his Twins debut, pinch-hitting for Brian Dozier in the ninth. He grounded out to third. Dozier went hitless on the day, joining Bobby Wilson as the only starters not to reach base.
Interestingly, among the relief carousel for Cleveland today was righty Adam Plutko, who was supposed to start the series finale tomorrow. We’ll see who they tab to face Jake Odorizzi tomorrow.
With the win, Minnesota is just four games back of Cleveland.
Happy Father’s Day to all the San Diego fans out there. See you tomorrow!
DH Joe Mauer (2-for-4, 2 R, BB)
LF Eddie Rosario (4-for-4, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB)
3B Eduardo Escobar (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB)
1B Logan Morrison (2-for-4, R, 3 RBI)
RP Matt Magill (3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, K)
NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!
ROBOT ROLL CALL: