MIN: Kepler RF, Polanco SS, Cruz DH, Sano 1B, Rosario LF, Donaldson 3B, Garver C, Arraez 2B, Cave CF, Bailey P
CHW: Moncada 3B, Abreu 1B, Jimenez LF, Encarnacion DH, Grandal C, Mazara RF, Anderson SS, Mendick 2B, Engel CF, Lopez P
Generally, when a baseball fan calls someone a “Homer” its a pejorative term. It means you follow your team at a level that blinds you to objective reality. Today, being a Homer was a good thing,
Reynaldo Lopez is supposed to be the new generation of great pitchers. Homer Bailey, a washed up hack. You’d be forgiven for believing the opposite, based on the action on the field today.
The Twins chased Lopez early, en route to blowout win, battering him nearly as badly as they did Dylan Cease last night. Chicago reliever Aaron Bummer also had a day reminiscent of his last name.
Once again, both teams swapped scoreless first innings. By the middle of the second inning, Lopez had only given up one hit, but was already down a run—having surrendered a massive 426 foot flyball to Eddie Rosario. The shot left the bat of the Twins left fielder at 105 miles per hour, and landed in the stands fifty feet past the left-center field wall. That would remain the only score in the game, until the Twins blew it wide open in the visitor’s half of the fourth.
Reynaldo Lopez had the wheels come off in the fourth. Jorge Polanco starterd the inning with a shallow liner into left-center for a single. Nelson Cruz hit a flyout to the left fielder, and then the parade started. Miguel Sano walked, Eddie Rosario lined a single to left, Josh Donaldson moved everyone up with a short flyball single behind the first baseman. That scored the first run. The second run scored on a walk drawn by Mitch Garver and the third on a walk drawn by Luis Arraez. Max Kepler cleared the bases with a deep line-drive double to the right field corner that screamed off his bat at 105.6 miles per hour. Old friend Adalberto Mejia was brought in as Jorge Polanco came to the plate for the second time in the inning—and grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.
Mejia, apparently a total fun-ruiner, would throw 1.2 innings, in which he only gave up a single hit. Homer Bailey, for the good guys, was also cruising. Bailey pitched 7.2 innings, in which he gave up only five hits and one run. He didn’t allow a single hit in the third, fourth, or sixth inning, and kept the Pale Hose from even considering a comeback.
Codi Heuer relieved Mejia on the mound for the Sox in the sixth, and stayed on into the seventh and eighth innings. Perhaps he should have stayed on the mound—Aaron Bummer entered the game in the eighth to face Mitch Garver, after Heuer struck out Rosario and walked Donaldson. Bummer let the Twins blow this wide, wide open. Garver hit into a 5-4 fielders choice, which put him at first with two outs. Luis Arraez scored the Twins’ catcher on a groundball double that shot past the shortstop and into left field. Jake Cave traded place with Arraez, with a big flyball that came down deep between the right and center fielders for another double. Kepler followed it up with his second RBI double of the game. Kepler advanced to third when Jorge Polanco hit a single, and then scored when Cruz did the same. Miguel Sano would take a walk to load the bases, before Bummer induced a grounder to first from Eddie Rosario, which ended the inning and the scoring.
Matt Wisler took over from Bailey with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, and pitched the rest of the game uneventfully.
- Bailey only used 98 pitches to get through 7.2 innings, and only 68 were strikes. Efficiency!
- Josh Donaldson committed his 3rd fielding error of the year. Yikes!
- Miguel Sano with the three true outcomes: 3K’s and 2BB’s
Homer Bailey: 7.2IP, 8K, 1ER
Max Kepler: 2-5, 2 doubles, 4 RBI
Luis Arraez: 2-4, double, 2 RBI
No duds, fake Twins win!
Tomorrow: Twins go for sweep, 1:10 pm first pitch in Chicago (Look for the recap around 5 pm)