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Twins 6, Red Sox 5: Bullpen and bombas best Boston in Beantown

A bullpen game was narrowly successful.

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Would Randy Dobnak pitch only one inning for the Minnesota Twins tonight? Maybe pitch a perfect game? Perhaps Rocco Baldelli would have him get one out. Baldelli kept the plan with Dobnak a secret until the second inning tonight, when Lewis Thorpe appeared on the mound instead.

Randall (I’m calling him that now) would be used as an opener for the Twins in this contest against the Boston Red Sox, notching two strikeouts and issuing one walk in an otherwise clean first inning. Baldelli knew that I did not have enough moustache puns to write about a Randall start that would go more than two innings. (Hey, I had no moustache puns whatsoever, so lucky me.)

Thorpe would keep the Red Sox off the board for three innings. In the meantime, the Bomba Squad started picking away at 20-year-old Boston starter Rick Porcello. With Max Kepler on second via a hit-by-pitch and a Nelson Cruz walk, Miguel Sano would start his good night off with a single, scoring Kepler and getting the Twins an early 1-0 lead. They’d strike again against 10-year-old Porcello (do you see what I’m doing here?) in the top of the third. Jorge Polanco single and a Luis Arraez double would set up a Jake Cave triple high off the right field wall, scoring both Polanco and Arraez.

The 3-0 lead would be carried into the top of the fifth and Cruz would have enough of this small-ball crap as he took a slider from 5-year-old Porcello (yep, I’m doing this) further than the wall in center field, which - by rule - constitutes a home run. Arraez would get on base by hitting a single, and Sano would step to the plate. On a 1-1 four-seamer from the 2.5-year-old Porcello (I’m driving this joke to the ground now, sue me), Sano would make it Sano - a 452-foot blast to left-center that hit off some type of camera balcony - to give the Twins a 6-0 lead and knocking out the 1.25-year-old Richard Porcello (and burying this joke, RIP in peace) out of the game. Josh Taylor, whose parents used a generic name generator to name him, and Brian Johnson, whose parents also used a generic name generator to name him, would come in to make it kind of a more mess, but get out of it unscathed.

Thorpe got through those three innings and then hit some type of wall in the bottom of the fifth, as if a 6-0 lead was too much for him to handle. A walk to Mitch Moreland, a single to Christian Vazquez, and a wild pitch would lead to a Brock Holt groundout to plate a run for Boston. The Aussie issued a full-count walk to Jackie Bradley Jr., and that was the end of Thorpe’s night. Trevor May came in to put out the fire, but instead issued a homer to Rafael Devers. Xander Bogaerts grounded out, but the Red Sox were back in the game, behind by only a score of 6-4.

Marcus Walden and Darwinzon Hernandez (okay, that name was not generated by a machine) tag-teamed for five strikeouts in two innings for Boston. May and Tyler Duffey got four strikeouts over another five outs for Minnesota before Duffey gave up a double to Bradley Jr. Baldelli would pull the Duff Man in favor of Sam Dyson, who would walk Mookie Betts and get Devers to fly out and end the threat.

Dyson would get two more outs in the eight inning before giving way to Taylor Rogers. He wanted an ever closer game and gave up a homer to Andrew Benintendi, who put it over the left field wall (called the “Green Monster”) to bring the Red Sox within one run. “Why not put the tying run on base?” said Rogers, who plunked Moreland and then struck out Vazquez to end the inning.

Rogers would come back out for the ninth, allowing a single to Brock Holt, who was replaced by Marco Hernandez. Pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez laid down a sacrifice bunt, getting the former Hernandez - the tying run - to second, but a groundout and a strikeout would close the door on Boston for a Twins win.

These two teams meet again tomorrow for the second game of this three-game set. It’s another 6:10p start with Jose Berrios taking the mound for the Twins. Eduardo Rodriguez will answer the call for Boston.

Twins 6, Red Sox 5
W: Thorpe (2-1)
L: Porcello (12-11)
S: Rogers (23)


  • CLEVELAND LOSES! Thank the Chicago White Sox (no, I’m not drunk), as they beat the Spiders 6-5 in Cleveland tonight.
  • With the above bullet point, the Twins now have a 6.5-game lead in the American League Central.
  • LaMonte Wade Jr.: no major league hits yet, but drew another walk.


  • Miguel Sano: 2-5, R, 3 RBI, 3 K, HR
  • Luis Arraez: 2-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K
  • Nelson Cruz: 1-4, R, RBI, BB, 2 K, HR


  • Trevor May: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K, HR 2 inherited runners and both scored