Cody Stashak had the first and gave up a solo homer to Jorge Soler, who’s having the kind of power-driven season that Brian Dozier had for us in 2016, providing an offensive silver lining to an otherwise exhausting season.
Kyle Gibson took the second, walking and striking out a pair of Royals each.
Zack Littell, Lewis Thorpe, and Trevor May each pitched a single fraem without giving up a run (and combining for five strikeouts.)
Tyler Duffey finally cracked, giving up another homer to Soler with a man on base. It’s the first run Duffman allowed since July 23rd, which is a pretty incredible stretch. I forget whose sentiment it was, but someone recently mentioned that it’s probably better for him to get a run out of his system soon, rather than at Yankee Stadium in an eighth-inning nailbiter.
The familiar duo of Sergio Romo and Taylor Rogers closed out the eighth and the ninth with no more damage surrendered. Rogers recorded his 30th save.
It was an encouraging pitching performance, as the Twins continue to prove that the bullpen has what it takes to compete in the postseason.
Meanwhile, the Bomba Squad needed just one long ball to win today. Willians Astudillo doubled and sac fly’d half of Minnesota’s runs; a Jorge Polanco sac fly provided another.
The Twins had carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh, when Soler’s second homer tied the game. Nelson Cruz, not one for suspense, immediately un-tied the game in the visiting eighth, by hitting his 41st bomba of the season.
In an otherwise uneventful game, two more things are of note — Ian Miller made a nifty diving catch out in center, and Luis Arraez had to be removed after a pop-fly collision with La Tortuga. The diagnosis is an ankle sprain — if you’ll remember, Anthony Rizzo battled through a recent significant sprain to try and help push the Cubs into the playoffs, but he’s since been shut down for the rest of the year.
This will be one to watch; as Arraez won’t be in any games until Friday at the absolute earliest. Given he was carted off the field today, it’s not out of the question that he might miss the first round playoff roster.
DH Nelson Cruz (2-for-4, R, RBI, HR)
C Mitch Garver (2-for-3, 2 R, BB)
1B-3B Willians Astudillo (2-for-4, 2 RBI)
RPs Zack Littell, Lewis Thorpe, Trevor May, Sergio Romo, Taylor Rogers (5 IP, 1 H, BB, 7 K)
NO DUDS! TWINS WIN!
ROBOT ROLL CALL: