A battle of aces came down to the bullpen on Thursday afternoon, with Cleveland emerging triumphant in a 5-4 walkoff victory, their second in as many days and Minnesota’s 12th such defeat of the season.
Jose Berrios wasn’t sharp on Thursday, going just four innings in his second-shortest start of the year. Yonder Alonso whacked a solo dong to open the scoring the second, and Francisco Lindor’s 2-run single in the third extended the lead. A Lindor double in the fourth put Cleveland up 4-0, and with Corey Kluber toeing the rubber for Cleveland, it looked very likely that this substantial cushion would be enough.
But the Twins showed a little resiliency against the defending AL Cy Young winner. A Max Kepler double and Jake Cave sac fly got the Twins on the board in the 5th, then Jorge Polanco stroked a 3-run dong to tie the game at 4-4.
While Berrios struggled, Gabriel Moya and Taylor Rogers shone, pitching four innings of flawless relief and keeping the Twins in the game...
...just long enough to lose in the bottom of the ninth again. Following last night’s Lindor walk-off dong off Trevor Hildenberger. Cleveland’s Cody Allen opened the inning with a single off Addison Reed. He stole second, took third on a Lindor ground out, and scored on a Michael Brantley single through a drawn-in infield.
STUDS: Polanco, Lindor, Moya, Rogers
DUDS: Berrios (grading on a curve—looked like he couldn’t locate his fastball at all today)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
See ya Friday.