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Twins 9, Rays 4: Good Gibby, many hits, few dongs

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The Twins start the series off right.

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

After a much-needed off-day following a recent weird funk, the Minnesota Twins came back home to Target Field to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The last time these two teams met, the Twins ended up taking three of four games at Tropicana Field. Although the Bomba Squad came out guns a-blazin’, it wasn’t via the home run ball tonight.

The Twins scored early and often tonight, and it was a second short outing for the reigning Cy Young Award winner and Rays starter Blake Snell. The scoring started in the home portion of the second inning. Hopefully-future-All-Star-this-year Eddie Rosario lead off with a double to right field. Although C.J. Cron and Max Kepler flew out and grounded out respectively, Willians Astudillo singled to deep behind second base for an infield single (heck yes he hustled), scoring Rosario from second. In the top of the third, La Tortuga - starting in right field for the first time of the year - was able to snag a foul ball from the top of the padding in right field to get an out.

The bottom of the third is when the Twins really started to let loose. Jonathan Schoop, starting again after a couple days off due to an injury, decided to take a 81-mile-per-hour curveball from Snell to the second deck in left field to start off the inning and put the Twins up 2-0. Jorge Polanco (another All-Star candidate) singled after that, followed by a Mitch Garver single of his own. A Nelson Cruz strike-out brought Rosario up to the plate and he took a liner to left field to score Polanco. Cron (also an All-Star candidate) joined in on the fun with a single and brought in Garver to take the score up to 4-0 in favor of the Twins.

The scoring wasn’t over as the bottom of the fourth meant additional runs for Minnesota. A La Tortuga double lead off the inning, followed up by a Miguel Sano single. A walk by Polanco juiced the sacks and Garver hit a single (yes, a hit with RISP for the Twins!) to bring in Astudillo and Sano. Cruz (hey - another Twins All-Star candidate!) singled to right field, which lead to a bases-loaded situation again and knocking out Snell for good. Hunter Wood (what an original name) came in for Tampa Bay and Rosario notched his third hit of the night, a single to right field, scoring Polanco and bringing the score to 7-0. He would come back in the bottom of the fifth and hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Jake Cave, making the score 8-0.

Jake Odorizzi Kyle Gibson was what we would know as “Good Gibby” tonight. He faced the minimum plus two through the fifth inning and allowed a homer to Willy Adames in the top of the sixth. He would hit a snafu in the top of seven after getting back-to-back strikeouts of Avisail Garcia and Kevin Kiermaier. A Michael Brosseau double would score Travis d’Arnaud and Joey Wendle and a triple by Brandon Lowe (not qualified for a Kwik Trip winner, sorry, whoever that was) would score four runs total. Gibson then realized that whatever just happened was not sufficient to continue in order to win the game, and so he struck out Guillermo Heredia to stop that threat.

Garver would lace a homer to left center for his twelfth homer of the year while Ryne Harper and Tyler Duffey closed the door on the Rays and secure the Twins win.

Jake Odorizzi (for realsies this time, I promise) and Charlie Morton face off tomorrow night in the second game of this set. The Twins will look to secure the series with a first pitch slated for 7:10p Central.

Twins 9, Rays 4
W: Gibson (8-4)
L: Snell (4-7)

le notes

  • Max Kepler left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch on his right elbow.
  • Cleveland lost tonight to the Kansas City Royals tonight, giving the Twins an 8.5-game lead.

LE STUDS

  • Kyle Gibson: 7 IP, 4 ER, BB, 7 K
  • Ryne Harper and Tyler Duffey: 2 IP, K
  • Mitch Garver: 3-5, 3 RBI, 2 R, HR, K
  • Eddie Rosario: 4-5, 2 RBI, R, 2B
  • Willians Astudillo: 3-4, RBI, R
  • HP Umpire Tom Hallion: always, because he has an awesome called-strike-three call

le duds

  • everyone got a hit tonight, so no duds, TWIMS WIM

LE COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD

Uncle Lincoln reminds us to be cautious about the Twins bullpen.

LE ROLL CALL

Thanks for joining in on the game thread tonight!