In 2006, the Twins had a budding superstar in Francisco Liriano. In a year when Johan Santana won the Cy Young, Liriano was the better pitcher (I swear, I was there). Then his arm blew up and an otherwise ridiculously talented Twins team exited the playoffs meekly versus Oakland. Don’t dive for that fucking ball, Torii.
12 years on, Liriano is still pitching, but that freakishly dominant arm doesn’t exist anymore, as the Twins pounded on their former ace for 8 runs in only 1 2⁄3 innings.
They needed all of them in an 15-8 victory, as the former ace they currently employ, Ervin Santana, was also a shell of himself.
Detroit opened the scoring with a 2-run dong from Nicholas Castellanos in the top of the first. The Twins answered immediately in the bottom of the frame with a 3-run dong from Jorge Polanco, before really going to town in the second. A ground-rule double from Logan Forsythe plated two, a sac fly from Polanco scored another, and an opposite field shot from Miguel Sano scored two more, ending Liriano’s night.
Unfortunately, Santana had no intention of holding that comfortable lead or even getting a decision. Mikie Mahtook and James McCann went back-to-back in the 4th with a 2-run dong and a solo dinger, respectively. With the score 8-5, Santana loaded the bases without recording an out in the 5th, and that was it. Trevor May walked in two, struck out two, and coaxed a grounder to preserve the lead at 8-7.
Detroit’s bullpen held the Twins in check until the 6th, when Ehire Adrianza parked a Zach McAlister pitch in the right-center bleachers with a man on. McAlister proceeded to load the bases and was removed in favor of Alex Wilson, who walked Sano on four pitches. A Tyler Austin sac fly made the score 12-7, and Mitch Garver’s 2-run single made it a football score. Thanks to a Detroit error, Eddie Rosario got the chance to add an RBI single.
Former Twin Niko Goodrum added a solo dong off Addison Reed in the 7th, but that was the end of the scoring. Somehow.
STUDS: EVERYONE WITH A BAT. Special recognition to Forsythe, who went 5-for-5 and got a curtain call from the Target Field crowd.
DUDS: THE PITCHERS. Despite walking in two runs, May was probably the best of a bad lot on Thursday, maintaining the lead until the Twins could re-blow it wide open.
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
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See you in the morning.