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Twins 4, Cleveland 1: Back on top

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The Twins regain sole possession of first place with a well-fought win.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

It was a very “Jake Odorizzi” start.

Unable to complete the sixth inning, and walking four hitters int he process, Odorizzi nonetheless shut out Cleveland through 5.2 frames. His shutout effort through 102 pitches allowed the Twins to build their first lead in a whopping five games.

After a rain delay of almost two hours, Minnesota would get on the board first in the fourth inning. With two outs, the Bombas rattled off five consecutive hits — a Mitch Garver double, a Luis Arraez RBI triple, a C.J. Cron run-scoring single, and a Marwin Gonzalez single to put two men on.

After a cursory mound visit for Adam Plutko, from whom the inning was getting away, Ehire Adrianza knocked the fifth hit into right, prompting a send of the runner Cron against the arm of right fielder Yasiel Puig. The contest came down in Cleveland’s favor; Cron was erased at the plate to end the inning and leave Max Kepler waiting in the wings.

Kepler satiated himself with a leadoff homer in the next inning. That three-run lead would hold until the seventh, when Puig made his presence known again with a solo shot.

But the Twins would answer right back; an efficient Plutko was still in the game, and Marwin (having now seen him three times) crushed one into the left field bullpen after the stretch, extending the lead back to 4-1. (Miguel Sano nearly added another with two outs in the inning — Dick Bremer’s call began with the words “into orbit!” — but a long fly died on the track to keep Cleveland in the game.)

With six outs left to get, Rocco Baldelli made the move for lefty stopper Taylor Rogers. The first man reached, but a slick double play after a lengthy at-bat was good for a pair of much-needed outs. A strikeout would retire the side.

Another strikeout started Rogers’ ninth. A foul pop and deep flyout ended it.

The Twins are alone on top of the AL Central — one game up.

The series concludes tomorrow — either the Twins will create more separation, or this mess will be tied up again by the end of the afternoon. Stay tuned and come join us for more!

STUDS:

CF Max Kepler (1-for-4, R, RBI, HR)

RF Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-3, R, RBI, HR)

SS Ehire Adrianza (2-for-2, BB, excellent defense)

RP Taylor Rogers (2 IP, H, 2 K)

DUDS:

NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!

ROBOT ROLL CALL: