The Minnesota Twins had dropped the first game of this series to the Chicago White Sox at the hands of a squirrel and were looking to even the score tonight at Target Field. After the Cleveland Indians fell to the New York Mets (yeah, we’re scoreboard watching, duh), the Bomba Squad had a chance to make it a three-game lead in the American League Central.
A quiet two innings from each team lead to a back-and-forth third inning. Michael Pineda, starting for the Twins tonight, would allow the Pale Hose to score in the top of the frame. A single by Yolmer Sanchez would be followed two batters later with a Tim Anderson double, scoring Sanchez and leading the White Sox to score first. The next batter, Twin-killer Jose Abreu, would take a Pineda four-seamer to the back of the overhang in right field, right in front of the Bomba Counter the Twins set up. Jealous much, Abreu?????????
That 3-0 lead the White Sox accumulated would diminish to a one-run lead after the bottom of the inning. A Mitch Garver double would be followed by a ground-out and a strikeout. But have no fear: Max Kepler is here, and he laced a Reynaldo Lopez curveball - also to the overhang in right field - for his 34th bomba of the year. Nelson Cruz announced his return in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot of his own off the first pitch he saw in the at-bat, and the game was tied at 3-3.
Things got exciting in the fifth inning for the home team. A Jake Cave single with two outs got Kepler to the plate, where he reached on an error charged to Abreu on a routine play, moving Cave to third. This proved pretty costly, and the squirrel that came out last night saw what was going on and spread his magic across the diamond, knowing the Twins would probably just ground out to end the inning. In fact, he went right between the wickets of Kepler. That magic worked as Jorge Polanco would get plunked and Cruz would double on a line drive to right field, knocking in Cave and Kepler. Eddie Rosario would ground a single through the right side, scoring Polanco and Cruz. The Twins lead 7-3, and the squirrel looked on from somewhere with a smile on its face.
A solo shot by Anderson would bring the score to 7-4 after the sixth inning, which was the only blemish from Big MIke after the third inning. Take a seat and put your beer down for this next sentence you are about to read: Michael Pineda, a starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, completed seven innings tonight. Damn, that squirrel really is magic.
A tag-team effort from Tyler Duffey and Sergio Romo would result in two strikeouts for a clean top of the eighth. Minnesota would add just a little insurance courtesy of a Miguel Sano RBI double, a bases-loaded and bases-clearing double by C.J. Cron, and an RBI double by Kepler in the bottom of the eighth. (That was all charged to Kelvin Herrera, by the way.) Just for good measure, Polanco notched his 19th homer of the season - this off of former Twin Hector Santiago - to make it 14-4.
The Twins and White Sox will face off in the rubber match tomorrow. Lucas Giolito will go for the Pale Hose while Jake Odorizzi will go for the Twins. Game time is set for 12:10p Central.
Twins 14, White Sox 4
W: Pineda (9-5)
L: Lopez (7-11)
- Luis Arraez stole a base in the bottom of the eighth tonight, only the second stolen base by the Twins since the All-Star Break.
- The Twins are 1-1 in games where a squirrel has appeared on the field this season.
- How many 2-out RBI tonight? 12.
- And how did the Twins do with runners in scoring position? 9-for-13.
- Michael Pineda: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 K
- Max Kepler: 2-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR
- Nelson Cruz: 4-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 3 2B, HR
- Tyler Duffey, Sergio Romo, Trevor May: 2.0 IP, 3 K
- Everyone in the lineup was on the basepaths. The pitchers were effective. No super-crappy defense. I’m pulling the NO DUDS, TWIMS WIM card tonight.
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD
Seems like Uncle Lincoln always wins COTG on Tuesdays. They win it tonight, comparing a couple of bomba hitters with a couple of ex-Twins home run hitters.
RALLY SQUIRREL LOVERS
|4||Lars in SLP||25|
Thanks for a great game thread, folks!