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Blue Jays 6, Twins 5: Bullpen buckles again; Twins can’t complete comeback

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A trio of homers from the Twins wasn’t enough to secure a win.

And it came to this.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays met up for another game tonight as Major League Baseball mandated it per the schedule that was released during the off-season. Kyle Gibson started this contest for the Twins and looked to get past the fifth inning tonight, as in both his previous starts this season did not go past two outs in the fourth.

Gibson started off the game by giving up a single to the lead-off hitter Eric Sogard and issued a walk in the second inning to Teoscar Hernandez, but was able to work out of both innings. A quiet third inning, a relatively quiet fourth (besides a walk to Justin Smoak), and two strikeouts in the fifth took Gibson into the sixth inning.

On the flip side of the frames, Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez worked out of a few jams and kept the Twins from touching home plate - for the most part. The home portion of the first saw Max Kepler draw a walk. Jorge Polanco flew out to left field and Kepler decided to be aggressive and try to tag up and take second. He was initially called safe, but after a review, the call was overturned into an out. An Eddie Rosario groundout ended the inning. In the bottom of the second with one out, Sanchez surrendered back-to-back singles to Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Cave. A groundout by Ehire Adrianza moved both runners into scoring position, but the threat was squashed by wet blanket specialist Jason Castro, who struck out staring at a strike.

The Twins were threatening again in the bottom of the third. A Byron Buxton walk brought up Kepler, who grounded into a double play, which was unfortunate as Polanco was the next batter and stroked a long dong to the plaza in right field on a 2-1 pitch and putting the Twins on the board first. Sanchez would send the Twins down in order the next two innings notching three strikeouts.

The sixth inning is where a good amount of action happened. Gibson allowed a single and double before striking out Freddy Galvis to get the first out of the inning. A walk to Randal Grichuk would lead to a Smoak single, bringing in Danny Jansen and Eric Sogard. Rocco Baldelli had seen enough and pulled Gibson in favor of Ryne Harper. After getting Hernandez to fly out, Rowdy Tellez (what a name) and Alen Hanson would each hit an RBI single to bring Toronto up 4-1 before Socrates Brito (pretty sure Blue Jays win the name game) flew out to end the inning. Gibson would end the night with 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.

The Twins said, “This is not 2018,” leading to back-to-back walks from Kepler and Polanco. Sanchez threw a 1-0 meatball to Rosario and he promptly dumped it in the second deck above the out-of-town scoreboard to pull the Twins even with the Blue Jays. The inning ended pretty uneventfully with three consecutive groundouts from Willians Astudillo, Gonzalez, and Cave.

Trevor May came on for the seventh and the Blue Jays said, “Not sure what you mean by the ‘not 2018’ thing, but we know your bullpen is not great.” After inducing a strikeout, May allowed a single, got a groundout to move the runner to second, and then issued back-to-back walks to load the bases. Trevor Hildenberger came in to put out the fire, but allowed a two-RBI single to Hernandez instead, allowing the Blue Jays to pull ahead 6-4. The inning ended on the same play as Smoak decided to officially make the Toronto Blue Jays the TOOTBLANiest team of 2019 so far this season.

After two quiet innings from Tyler Duffey, the Twins came to bat against closer Ken Giles. The third pitch of the inning was sent 440 feet into center field - above the living wall batter’s eye - by Gonzalez, pulling the Twins within one run. Following that, Nelson Cruz came in to pinch-hit and he drew a walk on five pitches. C.J. Cron also came in to pinch hit and grounded into a force-out. After a Mitch Garver strikeout, Buxton came up to bat and laced a double into left field. Cron was waved around, but a relay from the left fielder Hernandez to shortstop Galvis to the catcher Jansen nailed Cron at the plate, ending the game and the killing the possibility of the Twins’ first walk-off of the season.

The Twins will have to try to salvage the series against the Blue Jays starting tomorrow night in another 6:40p Central contest, the third one of this four-game series.

Blue Jays 6, Twins 5
W: Sanchez (2-1)
L: May (1-1)
S: Giles (5)

NOTES:

  • Max Kepler’s 10-game hitting streak was snapped tonight.
  • Willians Astudillo is now in a 2-18 slump.
  • The Twins lost their first back-to-back games of the season.

STUDS:

  • Jorge Polanco: 1-3, RBI, 2 R, BB, HR
  • Eddie Rosario: 1-4, 3 RBI, R, K
  • Marwin Gonzalez: 2-4, RBI, R, HR, K
  • Kyle Gibson, innings 1-5: 5 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Tyler Duffey: 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K

DUDS:

  • Kyle Gibson, inning 6: 0.1 IP, 3 H, BB, K, 4 ER
  • Ryne Harper, Trevor May, Trevor Hildenberger: 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, K, 5 IR, 4 IS

COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD:

Asthix: Gotta admit, Socrates Brito is a top ten baseball name for me

ROBOT ROLL CALL:

Thank you to all who came into the game thread tonight!