The Twins got seven innings of shutout, two-hit ball with 11 strikeouts and no walks from Jose Berrios. That, combined with home runs from Mitch Garver, Eddie Rosario, and Max Kepler was enough to withstand a brief bullpen collapse at the end of the game.
Berrios was beyond sharp early, throwing just 30 pitches in the first three innings while remaining perfect and striking out six batters. It was unbelievable efficiency, and it continued all night.
Neil Walker (raise your hand if you had no idea that the former Pirate was still in the game) broke up the perfect game with a 45-foot dribbler in the top of the fifth inning. Then, a solid single up the middle from Starlin Castro. But that was it for the Marlins against Berrios.
Berrios was dominant, throwing just 81 pitches through seven innings. Manager Rocco Baldelli elected to save Berrios’ bullets for another day and brought in Sean Poppen, aka The Run Differential Killer. But more on that later.
Mitch Garver snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a bomb to right-center field on a 97-mile-per-hour fastball, driving in three runs. A Max Kepler solo homer in the fifth extended the lead, and then a two-run homer from Eddie Rosario and an RBI single by Jonathan Schoop gave the Twins a 7-0 lead.
Poppen came in for the eighth inning and set the Marlins down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and looked good, with a sharp slider and lively fastball. But in the ninth inning, Poppen cemented his role as the-guy-getting-sent-down-tonight-to-make-room-for-Sam-Dyson by giving up three consecutive singles, followed by a grand slam to Brian Anderson.
Baldelli was forced to fire up Taylor Rogers, and he came in to get the final two outs without too much adventure. After pitching two days in a row, look for Sergio Romo or perhaps Sam Dyson, if he arrives in time, to get chance at a potential save opportunity during Thursday’s getaway day game.
At any rate, it was still a dominant performance from the Twins, and they’ve won another series. A good night overall, indeed.
- Byron Buxton’s swing continues to look great. He just missed a potential home run that turned foul down the left field line and turned another single into a double.
- Berrios worked a walk on a full count before scoring on Garver’s home run. That was fun.
- Rosario crushed the ball in his first three at-bats, with a double in the gap, a long line drive that was caught, and a long two-run homer.
- Jose Berrios: 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 11 K
- Mitch Garver: 2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
- Eddie Rosario: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
- Max Kepler: 1-for-1, HR, 3 BB
- Sean Poppen: 1 1⁄3 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 3 K
- Jorge Polanco: 0-for-5