MIN: Kepler RF, Polanco SS, Cruz DH, Sano 1B Rosario, LF, Donaldson 3B, Garver C, Arraez 2B, Buxton CF, CF, Odorizzi P
OAK: Semien SS, Laureano CF, Olson 1B, Chapman 3B, Canha LF, Davs DH, Piscotty RF, Kemp 2B, Murphy C, Montas P
Jorge Polanco had been the only member of the bomba squad to get going so far this spring—but Nelson Cruz was going to fix that today. We’d have to wait a little bit for the fireworks to start though. Max Kepler lead off the first with a double for the Twins, but was stranded on second. Oakland jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the inning, as Jake Odorizzi took a bit to calm down. Odorizzi walked Marcus Semien on eight pitches, then let him advance to second with a wild pitch. Laureano hit a single to advance Semien to third, and then a Chapman single brought the lead runner in to score.
The Twins tied the game back up in the second, and never trailed again. Josh Donaldson hit a single, moved to second on a grounder by Garver, and then scored on a double by sophomore Luis Arraez. The wild Odorizzi gave up another walk in the bottom of the inning, but no other damage. The Twins took the lead in the third inning. Nelson Cruz walked and then Miguel Sano singled to put runners on first-and-second. Eddie Rosario hit a double to move both runners up a couple bases and pick up the RBI, but Sano was nailed at the plate trying to score, and the inning ended. Odorizzi cruised through the bottom of the third and fourth innings, and the Twins went down meekly in their half of the fourth as well.
The fifth inning, however, is where all the excitement happened. The first-and-last batter of the inning, Byron Buxton, lead it off with a walk. Max Kepler beat out a bunt single, and Jorge Polanco singled to right field to load the bases and bring up Nelson Cruz. After battling off a couple fouls, Cruz put a 1-2 pitch 396 feet over the right field wall and cleared the basepaths with a Grand Slam. Brian Schlitter came into pitch for Oakland, and gave up three singles to Sano, Donaldson, and Arraez, with Sano scoring on the last. That would sum up the scoring for the game, as the Twins took an 8-1 lead.
- It was sixty degrees and gorgeous for this game.
- The game ran three hours and thirty-three minutes.
- Odorizzi gave up five walks and four hits in only 5.2 innings. He just managed to work his way out of jams consistently. Littell and Wisler combined for 3.1 innings of relief without allowing a baserunner.
Nelson Cruz: 1-4, GRAND SLAM
Josh Donaldson: 2-4, BB
Luis Arraez: 2-4, 2 RBI
Eddie Rosario: 1-3, 2 RBI
No Duds Twins win!!!
Tomorrow: We finish the four-game series at Oakland. Game starts at 3:07 CST (look for the recap around six thirty.)