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Twins 8, Royals 2: Berrios, Kepler, LoMo get the job done

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After a ticked-off inning, La Machina pitches like an unstoppable killer robot. And Kepler hits like, well, we sorta hoped he would all year.

Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins
That’s not how you pop zits, LoMo.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

On the night former Twins ace Johan Santana got named to the Twins Hall Of Fame, Minnesota’s hopefully-future-ace Jose Berrios turned in a nice performance of his own. We’ll call it 57% of old Santana.

He had scoreboard help from Max Kepler, who went 3-3 with a walk and the go-ahead dong.

Berrios only let the Royals get to him once, in the third inning. What should have been strike three to sweet Drew Butera ended up a walk instead, which a frustrated Berrios followed with another free pass to load the bases. Alex Gordon would single to give Kansas City its only runs of the night.

After that hiccup, La Machina got his revenge by whiffing Butera to end a threat in the fourth, and baffled blueblood bats from then on. Berrios finished seven full, striking out six and walking none (besides those three in the second inning, and we’ll just ignore ‘em).

Mad Max wasn’t the only Twin with a good night at the plate, as everyone but Miguel Sano had at least one hit. Shoulda-been All-Star Eddie Rosario led all scoring with his solo shot, while shoulda-been-doing-this-all-year Logan Morrison launched a 442-foot orbital blast.

Sano showed off his powerful muscular bits in a different way, though, with a nice barehanded bunt pickup and throw to help keep that shaky second inning under control.

Kansas City swingman Burch Smith wasn’t especially effective, as you can tell from the score. Heck, I’ll still root for him. The guy used to have crazy long hair, which I kinda made fun of. Turns out he started growing it after a pretty awful elbow injury, and vowed no haircuts until he fully recovered. So, good to see him healthy.

Johan Santana joined the broadcast booth to talk about how much he enjoyed his teammates in Minnesota (well, duh, would he say he hated ‘em all?) Also to talk about how frustrated he was by not landing a full-time starting role until his fifth season. I guess the team’s signing of Kenny Rogers still rankles Johan’s hide. Who can blame him, really? He only won the Cy Young Award his first full year as a starter.

One Twins pitcher made a different kind of contribution to baseball history tonight. By appearing in the ninth inning, recent waiver claim Oliver Drake set an all-time record by pitching for his fifth team in one season. (It’s something Drake has a pretty good sense of humor about.) This provided tonight’s comments of the gamethread from kenzertz:

“August 4, 2018. 9:23 pm central. Congrats to Oliver Drake. We will never forget.”

Robot Roll Call:

Thanks to everybody who joined in after last night’s late one!