After being thoroughly jinxed by me in the preview, Martin Perez delivered his worst start of the year, lasting less than three innings and opening the floodgates to a blowout 14-3 loss.
After mostly cruising through two innings, Perez and the Twins saw the game unravel in the third inning. Minnesota stood idly by while two walks and five hits drove home six for the Rays. Perez didn’t make it out alive, and the Rays didn’t let up, adding on five in the fourth with a pair each of RBI singles and doubles.
Minnesota eventually got on the board; Ehire Adrianza singled home Luis Arraez in the fifth, and Byron Buxton scored on a fielder’s choice in the next inning. Any hope of a comeback, however dim, was squelched when Avisail Garcia’s RBI double and Ji-Man Choi’s homer introduced themselves in the seventh. Choi’s homer was the only long ball of the game.
Buxton contributed to the offense again in the eighth, scoring Adrianza on a failed double play.
Pitching-wise, Charlie Morton was on as per usual for Tampa Bay, surrendering two runs on four hits in seven dominant innings.
Perez’s successor, Zack Littell, was less of a mop-up man and more of an actual mop, soaking up eight more runs and ten hits on 77 pitches.
It was an appreciated effort from Littell; with Morin covering eighth-inning duties, Rocco Baldelli was able to swallow allowing 14 runs by using just three pitchers (none of whom were position players.)
As such, the bullpen isn’t torn to shreds, and the Twins should be primed and ready to get after it tomorrow night and avoid the beginnings of a losing streak.
SS Ehire Adrianza (2-for-3, R, RBI)
SP Martin Perez (2.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)
RP Zack Littell (4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, BB, 3 K)
DH Jonathan Schoop (0-for-4, 3 K)
ROBOT ROLL CALL!
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