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Twins 7, White Sox 2: Age is just a number (simulated)

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Nelson Cruz-ing

MLB: ALDS-Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s lineups:

MIN: Garver C, Polanco SS, Kepler CF, Cruz DH, Donaldson 3B Sano 1B, Arraez 2B, Cave LF, Gonzalez RF, Berrios P

CHW: Moncada 3B, Abreu 1B, Jimenez LF, Encarnacion DH, Grandal C, Mazara RF, Anderson SS, Garcia 2B, Engel CF, Gonzalez P


The White Sox never had a lead today. Mitch Garver led off with a single on a 2-1 grounder past the shortstop, advanced to second on a wild pitch on the next pitch, and to third on a sac fly that Jorge Polanco hit to the left fielder. After working a full count, Max Kepler batter Garver in with a ground ball to second for a 4-3 out. Nelson Cruz then came to bat. The ageless designated hitter, being a professional hitter, watched a ball, then sent the next pitch soaring 366 feet into the left-field stands on the fly. Josh Donaldson worked a full count of his own before being questionably rung up by an umpire who clearly forgot his glasses. Still, the Twins batters did some damage, and took at 2-0 lead.

Yoan Moncada got one back for the bad guys in the bottom of the first. Jose Berrios got two called strikes, then three straight balls on the Sox lead-off batter before he deposited a 3-2 pitch well over Marwin Gonzalez’s head in right field, a 385 foot solo shot. Berrios picked up a groundout to short, walk, and two K’s to end the inning with no further damage, and set the tone for the day on the defensive side.

The Twins went down in order in the second, but added to their tally in the third. Mitch Garver once again started things off, this time reaching on a one-out error by Moncada. Polanco hit another flyball to left, which meant it was TWO OUT RALLY time. Max Kepler singled a hot grounder through the gap between first and second, and Garver went first-to-third with an astute piece of baserunning. Nelson Cruz continued his big day by working an eight pitch walk to load the bases. Donaldson would pick up two RBIs with a sharp single into left field. The inning ended on another questionable call, as Miguel Sano was saddled with a backwards K.

Each team would only have one hit in the fourth. For the Twins, it was a Jake Cave sing;e. For the Sox, it did a bit more damage. Yasmani Grandal would bring the Sox a bit closer in the bottom of the fourth, stroking a long dong to right field. The fifth inning saw the Twins blow the game open again, picking up two more runs. Polanco struck out, and Max Kepler sent a first-pitch single to the right side of the field, bringing up Nelson Cruz. Cruz worked the count again, bringing it to 3-2 in six pitches, before getting one he really, really liked. That pitch was crushed to right-center, as a 411-foot line drive that plated two and chased Gio Gonzalez from the game. Once again, old friend Adalberto Mejia came in for a successful relief outing.

The Twins would add another run in the top of the ninth, with Alex Colome pitching. Marwin Gonzalez singled to start the inning, and two outs later Max Kepler moved him to third with another single, bringing Nelson Cruz back to the plate. In another seven-pitch at bat, Cruz hit another line drive, this one for a RBI single.

Notes

  • Jose Berrios pitched 7.1 innings, giving up three hits and two runs while striking out ten. He lowered his ERA over two points, as he came into the game at 8.59, and left at 6.55. Yay for small samples. Berrios also picked up his first win, going to 1-2.
  • In a light day for the bullpen, Tyler Duffey was the only pitcher used, going 1.2 innings.
  • Max Kepler stole second in the fifth inning, but it didn’t really matter.
  • With the sweep, the Twins moved from last place to second place in only three games, and passed the Sox in the division.

STUDS:

Nelson Cruz: 3-3, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI
Max Kepler: 3-5, RBI
Marwin Gonzalez: 2-4
Jose Berrios: 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 10K

DUDS:

No duds, fake Twins win!

Tomorrow: After a quick flight to Canada, the fake Twins visit the Blue Jays, with a first pitch at 6:07 pm (Look for the recap around 10 pm)

Standings: DET 9-6 —
MIN 9-7 1/2
CHI 8-7 1
KCR 7-8 2
CLE 7-10 3