The Twins mounted a comeback against one of the league’s tougher relievers, but Cleveland reclaimed the momentum too quickly, winning the 10-inning series finale and re-tying the American League Central.
Jose Berrios was touched early in a pretty decent start. A Greg Allen homer and a Yasiel Puig (that guy again?) double put two on the board in the top of the first. While Carlos Santana would knock in a third run with a third-inning single, Berrios would keep them quiet for the rest of his six-inning start.
On the other side, the Twins were getting their first taste of Adam Civale, and why he’s a Cleveland pitching prospect. Through six innings, Civale struck out six and allowed just a single run on a second-inning sacrifice fly.
The later innings were chock-full of Baldelli vs. Francona managerial matchups — something we may be seeing a lot down the stretch as these head-to-head contests become of greater and greater import. Both teams used five relievers each to finish bits and pieces of the remaining innings. Nick Goody and both closers were the only relievers to allow a hit this afternoon.
When it came time for the bottom of the ninth, the Twins found themselves down a pair and facing Chaska native, All-Star Brad Hand. Eddie Rosario led off the inning with a double, and scored on a one-out single from Luis Arraez (his second RBI of the day after the earlier sac fly.)
Then, C.J. Cron singled to put two men aboard. At this point, the Twins subbed in Ehire Adrianza to run for Cron, which will become important in a second.
Marwin Gonzalez came up and lined a double off the left-field wall, tying the game, and prompting Tony Diaz to send Adrianza around third. Ehire was cut down before reaching home, leading to a quick end of the inning when Jonathan Schoop grounded out on the second pitch he saw.
With the score now tied at three and the game heading into the tenth inning, Rocco brought in Taylor Rogers — who, if you’ll remember, threw 31 pitches in the ballgame yesterday. In fairness to Rocco, that was his only appearance in the last few days. In fairness to Rogers...he threw 31 pitches less than a day ago.
The inning spiraled quickly. Kevin Plawecki singled, and Francisco Lindor took a four-pitch walk. Greg Allen hit a bunt single to load them up, and Carlos Santana hit a bomb into the bullpen, unloading the bases with a devastating grand slam.
Cleveland went quietly after that, and the Twins grounded out three times in the home tenth, but the game was effectively over after the home run.
It’s tough to swallow, but Cleveland came into our house and won three of four to leave the division tied. The Twins are heading next door to Milwaukee to begin a short road trip. Cleveland is right back at it tomorrow, hosting the Red Sox and then heading into the Bronx.
Ideally, our foes from the AL East can help the Twins widen that gap again.
Until then, it’s a brand new ballgame. This season is far from over.
LF Eddie Rosario (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B)
DH Luis Arraez (2-for-3, R, 2 RBI)
RF Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
Non-Rogers Bullpen (3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, BB, 2 K)
RF Max Kepler (0-for-5, 2 K)
SS Jorge Polanco (0-for-5, 3 K)
3B Miguel Sano (0-for-5)
RP Taylor Rogers (0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, BB, K, HR)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
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