The Minnesota Twins needed a win tonight to even the series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and it was a game where the Twins took a commanding lead, then bumped the stress levels up a bit with the help from the bullpen.
The Twins scored all of their runs before the Angels tonight and started off the game with some small-ball in the bottom of the first. Jorge Polanco was able to reach on a single and steal second base one batter later. Angels opener Cam Bedrosian threw a wild pitch, advancing Polanco to third base and then score on a single by Eddie Rosario.
Someone on the team realized that they mash dingers, and that someone was Mitch Garver. Garver blasted a bomb to the second deck off of Felix Pena in the bottom of the third with Max Kepler on first. As radio play-by-play broadcaster Cory Provus said, “The sauce is smooth tonight!” (Or something to that effect.) After that, the Twins went back to some small-ball in the bottom of the fourth, with Marwin Gonzalez hitting a double and was brought home with another double by Byron “I’ve got Sheboygan on my mind” Buxton. The Twins lead 4-0.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson started the game pretty cleanly, sending six down on a row - the first three batters on ground-outs and the next three on strikeouts. He faced the minimum plus one through the fifth and then hit a wall in the sixth inning. Newly-called-up-Angels-player Luis Rengifo drew a walk off Gibson and was driven in by a David Fletcher double that got past Kepler in right field. A single by Tommy La Stella
Artois advanced Fletcher and a wild pitch by Gibson allowed Fletcher to come home for the Angels’ second run of the inning. A strike out of Mike Trout (yes, that’s real), super-star-Angels-sensation Shohei Ohtani slapped a single to center field, allowing Stella Artois to score.
The next play saw Andrelton Simmons singling to right field. Ohtani got to second base, stopped for a couple seconds, then decided to try to take third as well. However, Kepler’s throw was pretty much at third base already, and he was tagged out. Rocco Baldelli figured that’s enough weirdness and pulled Gibson from the game in favor of Ryne Harper, who got FUTURE HALL-OF-FAMER Albert Pujols to fly out and end the threat with the Angels down by one run. Gibson’s final line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
The seventh inning saw some traffic on the basepaths, but Harper, Tyler Duffey, and Mike Morin were able to stifle the Angels to no runs. Unfortunately, the Twins were stifled in the bottom of the seventh with - you guessed it - the bases loaded after Buxton walked, Polanco walked with one out, and Rosario walked with two outs. C.J. Cron stepped to the plate with everyone hoping to see a laser show, but got the exact opposite as he swung through a 2-1 pitch to end the inning.
Taylor Rogers and Blake Parker tag-teamed the eight inning and attempted to hand the Angels the game; Ohtani got a soft grounder to Rogers, who wasn’t able to make the play while Pujols was able to get on base with a single off of Parker and move Ohtani to second base. Brian Goodwin was able line a shallow single to Buxton, who was able to throw a strike to Garver and tag Ohtani out at the plate and preserve the lead. However, Garver left the game as he was not able to put any weight on his left leg/foot and needed help getting up and moving to the dugout.
Parker came back out for the ninth and was able to strike out pinch-hitter Justin Bour and get La Stella to fly out to shut the door and notch another save.
The Twins and Angels face one more time in this series - a rubber match and matinee at 12:10p Central tomorrow.
Twins 4, Angels 3
W: Kyle Gibson (4-1)
L: Cam Bedrosian (1-2)
S: Blake Parker (7)
- Mitch Garver: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K
- Eddie Rosario: 1-3, RBI, BB
- Byron Buxton: 1-2, RBI, BB
- Ryne Harper, Mike Morin, Taylor Rogers, Blake Parker: 3.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 2 K
- NO DUDS AS THE TWINS WIN
- Willians Astudillo struck out tonight, only his second K of the season.
- Marwin Gonzalez is continuing to heat up: he’s now on a seven-game hitting streak.
No official word on Mitch Garver ’s injury.It’s been reported that Garver has a high ankle sprain and will go under further evaluation tomorrow.
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD
|7||less cowbell, more 'neau||10|
|11||Erudites Smell Bad||5|
|14||H. T. Ennis||3|
Thanks to everyone for joining us tonight!