The story of the game today is Eddie Rosario. Three home runs, four RBI, and the last was a walk-off to win the game in clutch fashion. His spectacular performance isn’t the only story, however.
Kyle Gibson was good today. No surprise there. He was perfect through 4 innings. He ended up losing the shut out in the fifth, on a monster solo dong by Edwin Encarnacion. Seven Cleveland batters were sent back to the dugout on strikes. Only two free passes were issued, in five-and-two-thirds innings. Better yet, Gibson finally got some help from his teammates, leaving the game with a chance to earn win number two. Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be.
It didn’t take very long for Gibby to get some run support today. Eddie Rosario hit his 11th home run of the year in the first inning, a solo shot. Miguel Sano took a walk, and then Eduardo Escobar hit a double to score him.
Another walk haunted Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger in the second. He walked DH Robbie Grossman, who advanced to second on a single by long-lost Beach Boy Bobby Wilson. Brian Dozier followed up with another single, and plated Grossman to make it three to nothing, in favor of the Twins.
As I mentioned, Cleveland finally got to Gibson in the fifth. That big jack by Encarnacion started the bleeding, and it was followed by a single from Jason Kipnis. A 6-3 double play erased that threat, but Gibson put a man right back on first with a two-out walk. A stolen base put a man in scoring position, but strike three ended the inning.
The Twins got into a little trouble in sixth, as Gibson’s pitch count added up to nearly 100. He walked Lindor, and then Miguel Sano made a beautiful bare-hand grab-and-throw to get the second out of the inning. Lindor advanced on the fielder’s choice. Gibson at this point turned the mound over to Ryan Pressly, having completed almost six innings of really good baseball, but leaving a runner on second. Pressly promptly pissed away all of Gibson’s hard work, walking a man, and then giving up Encarnacion’s second dong of the day. The 3-run shot took the lead away from the Twins, and spoiled yet another bid for Gibson’s second win. Since Pressly was worthless today, Molitor sent him to the showers and let Taylor Rogers finish the inning.
Rogers gave up a ground-rule double to Yan Gomes in seventh, but that just set up a great play by Bobby Wilson. Greg Allen dropped a bunt right in front of Wilson, who alertly was able to get to the throw to Eduardo Escobar before Gomes could retreat to second, and Rogers escaped the inning unscathed.
Mike Clevinger came back out for the seventh inning, and that probably wasn’t a great idea. Brian Dozier took a ball deep to left field, and tied the score back up with his ninth dinger this season. That hit ended Clevinger’s night, but not the Twins scoring. Eddie Rosario must have liked what Dozier did, because he hit his second homer of the night, to take back the lead for Minnesota. He was the only batter Tyler Olson got to face tonight. After Neil Ramirez struck Miguel Sano out, Terry Francona made his third pitching change of the inning. Oliver Perez actually faced more than one batter, inducing a ground ball from Logan Morrison and a pop-out by Eduardo Escobar to finally, mercifully end the seventh inning.
Addison Reed blew the lead for the second time. The second batter he faced in the eighth inning was Michael Brantley, and he hit a solo dong down the right field line. That was all the damage done against the Twins’ struggling set-up man, but the game was tied.
Perez came back out to pitch to the Twins in the bottom of the eighth, and Robbie Grossman chased him from the game with a single. Ehire Adrianza came on to pinch run for Robbie, and a new pitcher, Zach McAllister, faced Ryan LaMarre. LaMarre slashed a double down the third base line, but Adrianza was thrown out at home by about a mile. LaMagic ended up on third, with Bobby Wilson up and two outs. Was Wilson up to the task? Nope, he hit a chopper straight to Jason Kipnis, and ended the inning.
The ninth inning was classic Fernando Rodney Experience. Jason Kipnis hit a lead off single. Ryan LaMarre made a great catch on a big fly by Yan Gomes to keep Kipnis at first, but he stole second anyway. A line drive straight at Escobar, and strikeout ended the inning, and the Twins had one last chance to win in regulation; against Cleveland’s closer, Cody Allen.
The top of the Twins order batted against Allen, with Brian Dozier coercing a walk. Eddie Rosario ended the night, by taking a bad ball high and deep. He put a high fastball just over the right-center wall, and the game ended with a Twins victory!
The Twins took three games from Cleveland this weekend, and are now 3.5 games back. Off day tomorrow, and then a divisional series with Chicago starts with a double-header on Tuesday. See you all then!
Eddie Rosario 3-5, 3 HR, 4 RBI
Brian Dozier 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB
Ryan LaMarre 3-4, 2 doubles
Kyle Gibson 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7K
NO DUDS TWINS WALKOFF WIN