Someone always has it worse. The Twins, barring a miraculous turnaround and a total collapse by Cleveland or one of the wild card teams, are playing out the string. And yet they are solidly a level up on the Baltimore Orioles, who came to Target Field with a .282 winning percentage. It did not improve Thursday night, as they were stymied by, ummm, Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave in a 5-2 Twins victory.
In his first major league start, the very tall Slegers went six super adequate innings, parsing out three hits, striking out two, and walking one. He also is Bizarro Lance Lynn, in that he worked fast. It was wonderful to experience.
The other unexpected star of the night was Jake Cave. The Twins center fielder led off the 3rd with double to the left-center gap, and scored on an errant throw by Baltimore starter Andrew Cashner on a thicc Bobby Wilson grounder. Eddie Rosario plated Wilson with an oppo single to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.
Cave continued making his case for an extended stay in the majors with a terrific catch the following inning on a Chris Davis shot to the wall.
A second double in the 8th scored the team’s fifth and final run. The Cave for Jakes may have to wait.
Logan Morrison stroked an oppo dong in the bottom of the frame to extend the lead to 3-0. Jonathan Schoop answered in the fifth with a massive solo dong of his own, but that was it as far as threats to Slegers went.
Schoop drilled another solo shot off Addison Reed in the 7th to narrow the Twins’ lead to one, but Trevor Hildenberger wriggled out of a 2-on, 2-out jam in the 8th by striking out Jonathan Trumbo, and Fernando Rodney pitched a clean 9th for his 18th save.
Max Kepler added the first insurance run in the 8th with a 2-out RBI single that scored Morrison.
STUDS: Slegers, Cave (3-3 with an IBB)
DUDS: Reed. The city of Baltimore.
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|2||Pau from the sky-tinted water||17|
See you Friday.