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Twins 5, Nationals 0: GarvSauce, anyone?

A classic pitching duel went the Twins’ way.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins had plenty of bad news to stew over. Michael Pineda’s suspension and Byron Buxton’s season-ending surgery were surely blows to their roster, plus the team dropped a series to second-place Cleveland. Not only that, but a handful of players were banged up and unable to play. However, Nelson Cruz was back in the lineup tonight against the Washington Nationals while Max Kepler and Miguel Sano were available off the bench if needed.

If tonight was not a pitcher’s duel, then I don’t know what it was. Twins starter Jose Berrios - looking to make a statement start tonight - and Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez traded zeros through the top of the seventh inning tonight. La MaKina took a perfect game through four innings before yielding a single to Howie Kendrick in the top of the fifth. A botched pick-off attempt got Kendrick as far as second base before the inning was finished.

Meanwhile, Sánchez took a no-hitter for four innings. A walk to Jonathan Schoop in the bottom of the third was his only blemish before a Willians Astudillo single broke the no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth. Each team tried to get to the opposing team’s starter as Trea Turner got a single off of Berríos in the sixth, while Luis Arraez slapped a double in the bottom of the same frame. A Schoop-Astudillo double play in the seventh doused any idea of a threat. Balls were hit hard the whole night, seemingly magnetized to a defender’s glove.

Then the bottom of the seventh happened. Eddie Rosario doubled to left field off of Sánchez. Mitch Garver seemed to say or think, “Time to end this shit,” and laced a slider to the second deck in left-center field, almost above the bullpens. The Twins were sent down in order after that, but came out with a 2-0 lead.

BUT WAIT - THERE’S MORE! Sergio Romo came out of the bullpen in relief of Berríos and send down the Washington batters in order, ending with a full-count strikeout of Yan Gomes. The Twins strung together some insurance runs. Jorge Polanco hit a double off of reliever Tanner Rainey, plating Schoop and Arraez and giving the home team a 4-0 lead. Following a strikeout by Cruz and back-to-back walks of Rosario (intentionally) and Garver to “juice the bags” as the kids say, Dave Martinez took a Garver quote from earlier in this recap and pulled Rainey in favor of Javy Guerra. An Ehire Adrianza sacrifice fly plated another run to push the lead to 5-0.

Trevor May came in and shut the door on the Nationals to end the game.

These two teams will meet again tomorrow. Same time, same place (that’s 6:40p Central at Target Field). Some guy named Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the Nationals while Martin Perez will get the nod for the Twins.

Twins 5, Nationals 0
W: Berríos (12-8)
L: Sánchez (8-8)


  • The Cleveland Spiders won last night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on the west coast. They’re in action right now.
  • The New York Yankees have caught up to the Bomba Squad. Both teams now have 276 homers.
  • Mitch Garver’s homer is his 30th of the year. He’s already passed Earl Battey for the most homers as a catcher in one season, and now he’s the third Twins player to reach the 30 homer mark. One more Twins player to reach that mark and this team will have the most players with 30+ home runs in one season in the franchise.
  • Garver’s homer was also the ninth homer he’s hit against National League pitching, tied for the most in a season in the franchise. The other Twins player? Trevor Plouffe with nine homers in the 2012 campaign.


  • José Berríos: 7.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K
  • Mitch Garver: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR, 2 K
  • Jorge Polanco: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B
  • Sergio Romo: 1.0 IP, K


  • eeeeeeh no duds tonight; tWINs


doomsdayshark wants to amplify La Makina’s performance with a great stat of the Nationals’ hitters. I don’t blame them.


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Have a GarvSaucy night!