This game started well for the Twins, as Jose Berrios worked out a jam in the top of the first before the hometown team put two up on the board in the bottom of the inning. After a Mitch Garver walk, Jorge Polanco absolutely destroyed a baseball into the left field stands, his first home run of the season from the right side of the plate.
The Angels scored the next four runs of the game, and it could have been worse had Berrios not also stranded a bevy of runners. In the third inning with a runner on first, Mike Trout hit a single to right field that was overran by Marwin Gonzalez. This resulted in the first Angel run and Trout on third base. The point was moot as Shohei Ohtani blasted a fastball down the middle to center for a two-run shot and an Angels 3-2 lead.
The Twins had a chance to score with two on and no outs in the fourth, but came up empty. That included a leaping catch at the wall by left fielder Brian Goodwin to rob Mitch Garver of extra bases to end the inning. The Angels then scored on an Albert Pujols squibber through the right side, as the Twins had him shifted heavily to the left side of the infield. That single scored Andrelton Simmons from second base, who was originally thrown out try to steal previously, but was ruled safe after replay.
At that point, it just didn’t feel like the Twins day.
But luckily for the Twins, dingers are worth more than singles. After a leadoff single by Jorge Polanco in the fifth, it looked like another baserunner would be stranded after two straight outs. However, Marwin Gonzalez would have none of it, mashing the Twins second giant homer of the day into left field and evening the score at 4.
Apparently the Angels were also aware of the power of the dinger as well. After retiring the first two batters to begin the sixth, it looked like Berrios would make it through six innings with just four runs allowed. However, a wall-scraping homer by Tommy La Stella allowed the Angels to retain the lead in the top of sixth. After allowing a Mike Trout single and walking Shohei Ohtani, La Makina exited the game, and Matt Magill closed out the frame to avoid any further damage.
Berrios did not have his best stuff tonight, but it was his control that played the biggest factor in his subpar outing. The Twins ace seemed to be missing the zone altogether or throwing pitches down the middle of the plate. Either way, he wasn’t hitting the corners of the zone much and getting behind in counts, getting knocked around for a career-high 12 hits and also giving up three walks.
The Twins had chances to even the score back up, but ultimately couldn’t get it done. They left two on base in the seventh, with Gonzalez hitting a hard one hopper right at the second baseman to end the inning. After Astudillo led off the eighth with a double, Kepler popped out in foul ground, Castro struck out, and Buxton hit a lazy fly to center. They were retired in order in the ninth to fall in the first game of the series.
- The Angels got three hits that had a 10% chance or less of being a hit based on the quality of contact, according to Baseball Savant.
- The Twins struck out 11 times today, and went 0-10 with runners in scoring position. Yikes.
- This game was frustrating to watch.
- Tomorrow will be another day, and the Twins are still atop the division, so that’s good (Cleveland lost to the White Sox again, as well).
Bullpen: 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 K
Jorge Polanco: 2-5, 2 RBI, HR
Eddie Rosario: 2-4
Jose Berrios: 5.2 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 3 BB
Jason Castro: 0-4, 2 K
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
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