MIN: Kepler RF, Polanco SS, Cruz DH, Sano 1B, Donaldson 3B, Buxton CF, Cave LF, Avila C, Adrianza 2B, Dobnak P
OAK: Semien SS, Laureano CF, Olson 1B, Chapman 3B, Canha LF, Davis DH, Piscotty RF, Pinder 2B, Murphy C, Bassitt P
Nelson Cruz wasn’t caught napping in the first inning, and the Twins never looked back. Batting third, and with two out, Cruz put the second pitch he saw over the outfield fence to put the Twins up one to nothing. Dobnak let two guys get on base in his half, before inducing the pitcher’s best friend a 4-3 double play.
This year’s best free-agent hitter to join the Twins clearly didn’t want to be outdone by last year’s best free-agent hitter to join the Twins. Josh Donaldson lead off the second by mashing a solo shot of his own.
Third inning, third run scored for the Twins, although this time the run brought a friend. Second baseman Adrianza took one for the team and wore 1-2 pitch, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kepler took a walk to put two on, and set up the 3-6-3 double play Jorge Polanco was about to hit into—a double play that would at least leave a runner on third. Nelson Cruz picked up his second RBI of the night with a single to drive in Adrianza, and would score himself on a Miguel Sano double. Yeah, the old dude went first-to-home, Sano hit that thing a mile. It had an exit velocity of 110 MPH.)
Dobby cruised through the third, but finally gave up a run in the fourth. Ramon Laureano hit a triple to the right-field corner, and scored on a deep flyout to Buxton in center field. The score would remain 4-1 until the top of the sixth inning, when Oakland pitcher Chris Bassitt would find himself in deep trouble.
Miguel Sano hit another double to lead off the sixth, Josh Donaldson walked, and then Buxton hit a single to load the bases for Super Jake Cave! Cave turned on the first pitch he saw, and pulled it 340 feet to blow the game wide open. The four run inning gave the Twins plenty of cushion.
Dobnak gave a couple runs back in the bottom of the sixth though, and wouldn’t finish the inning. A walk, a single, and a couple deep fly balls scored a run, put a runner on third, and two outs before he was was replaced by Zack Littell. Littell let the inherited runner score before ending the inning.
The Twins added two more insurance runs they wouldn’t need in the seventh, on a Josh Donaldson two-run blast, the third baseman’s second of the day. Oakland would crack the door open a bit in the eighth, as Matt Olson hit a two-run shot of his own off Matt Wisler to cut the Twins lead to five. Cody Stashak gave up one more run in the ninth before closing it out, to bring the final score to 10-6.
- Almost a four-hour affair, the final time-of-play was 3:50.
- Someone explain how Stashak got the win... Dobnak pitched 5.2, and exited with a lead the Twins would not surrender.
- It was kind of an odd getaway day line-up, but that just shows you how much depth the Twins have.
- Who told Jake Cave it was player’s weekend?
Jake Cave: 1-5, GRAND SLAM
Nelson Cruz: 2-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
Josh Donaldson: 2-4, 3 RS, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB
No Duds Twins win!!!
Tomorrow: Late night games resume on this west coast swing. 9:10 central first pitch against Seattle (look for the recap around midnight.)