The Minnesota Twins looked to take advantage of an unplanned off-day for the Cleveland Indians (their game was postponed to tomorrow as a double-header) and gain another half-game in their American League Central lead. The Twins were looking to secure a series win against another first-place team. Alas, it was not meant to be.
If this sounds like a recap for the Atlanta Braves, well, it’s because they scored most of the runs tonight, and they scored a lot. They called up Mike Foltynewicz (totally had to copy and paste that; will hereby be called “Folty” moving forward again) to take the rotation spot that was occupied by Kevin Gausman. Folty had some shoddy numbers so far this year, but apparently sourced the magic of some forest elves (probably provided by the Yankees - you know I’m right) while down in the minors and came back to pitch a stellar game against the Bomba Squad.
The Twins were only able to get on base four times through the first five innings. Two hits came from the bat of the Bomba Squad king, Nelson Cruz. Two walks were also drawn - one by Miguel Sano and one by Jorge Polanco. The sixth inning proved a bit more fruitful as Cruz lit a small fire under the butts of the Minnesota players, launching his 31st homer of the year to the facing of the second deck in left field. That specific spot in the stadium measures 429 feet from home plate. Eddie Rosario slapped a single to left field, which allowed Mitch Garver to hit a donger, also to left field just a bit inside the foul pole. That knocked Folty out of the game.
At that time, the score was 11-3 and by that, I mean “Atlanta was ahead 11-3” because Berríos was just not on his game tonight. He wasn’t getting some calls from the home plate umpire, which lead to him getting his emotions get to him a bit. Ronald Acuna hit the first pitch from him into center field to start off the game. La MaKina would also walk Josh Donaldson, but he would not get further than first. Notching three strikeouts in the second inning, Berríos looked to be in a groove.
However, the top of the third saw Berríos take a 2-1 count to Acuna and turn it into a walk, followed by a single for
Ozzie Osbourne Ozzie Albies. Freddie Freeman, who I always think is old for some reason, hit a homer to center field, making the score 4-0 in favor of the visitors. Acuna and Albies was able to scratch across one more run in the top of the fifth as well.
The sixth inning was the knockout punch for the Twins starter. After sandwiching a walk between two strikeouts, a single by Ender Inciarte moved Matt Joyce to third, and then Berríos was charged with a balk - his second in his career - allowing Joyce to score. Acuna would then single and Albies would triple and La MaKina’s night was over with the Braves leading 8-0. Cody Stashak would enter in relief and allow a single to Freeman, closing the books on Berríos: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, arguably his worst outing of his season, maybe his career.
Stashak would allow a double to Josh Donaldson and a single to Brian McCann to make the lead 11-0 in favor of the Braves before the inning finally closed. He’d come back out for the seventh and notch two strikeouts in that inning along with another strikeout in the eighth before allowing two singles before yielding to Zack Littell. A McCann single would drive in another run for the Braves.
Oh hey, so the Twins tried to get back into the game even more in the bottom of the seventh. Max Kepler and Jake Cave were able to hit back-to-back singles. The next batter hit a homer into the bullpens. Who else but Nelson Cruz? Duh. Rosario would notch his 24th homer of the year in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little, too late as of three innings ago.
Braves 12, Twins 7
W: Folty (3-5)
L: Berríos (10-6)
The Braves and the Twins will face off in a matinee rubber match tomorrow afternoon - a 12:10p Central start - with Max Fried (steaks? pork chops? find out tomorrow!) going for Atlanta while Martin Perez takes the mound for the home team.
- Boomstick now has six multi-homer games this season; this ties Harmon Killebrew for the most multi-homer games in a season by a Twins player.
- The Twins are now at 223 homers on the season, two away from the club record of 225.
- Nelson Cruz: 4-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR
- Mitch Garver: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 K
- Eddie Rosario: 1-5, 2 R, RBI, HR
- José Berríos: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
- Luis Arraez: 0-4, K
- C.J. Cron: 0-4, 2 K
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD
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As always, thanks to those who chatted with us tonight! See you tomorrow!