MIN: Kepler RF, Polanco SS, Cruz DH, Sano 1B, Rosario LF, Donaldson 3B, Garver C, Adrianza 2B, Buxton CF, Dobnak P
TOR: Bichette SS, Hernandez RF, Guerrero 3B, Grichuk CF, Shaw 1B, Gurriel LF, Fisher DH, Biggio 2B, Jansen C, Yamaguchi P
Randy Dobnak came into tonight riding three straight wins. Today he didn’t have his best stuff, but the bats bailed him out.
Toronto spilled the first blood of the night with a two out double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and a follow-up, full count two-run homer by Randal Grichuk. Other than that blip, the bats stayed more-or-less silent until the sixth inning. In fact, the sixth and tenth were the only other innings to really matter tonight.
The Twins took a one-run lead in the top of the sixth. Two red-hot Twins that are not Max Kepler both went yard against Shun Yamaguchi. Nelson Cruz led the inning off with a solo shot to left field. Miguel Sano took a walk, and then Eddie Rosario pulled a 3-2 pitch to give the Twins the lead for the first time tonight. In the bottom of the sixth, Dobnak gave up the tying run. This time it was Travis Shaw hitting the dinger.
The score would remain three-all through the rest of regulation. Toronto closer Ken Giles entered the game for the tenth. Byron Buxton hit a grounder into the grass to get on base, and then Kepler came up to change the tone of things. Max worked a full count, fouled one off, and then smacked a 2-run bomba to roughly the same spot he hit a grand slam last night. As your normal thursday-night recap girl would say “Max Kepler is so hot.”
Just for fun, Miguel Sano would join the party a few batters later. With Jorge Polanco on base due to a walk, Sano put two more runs on the board for Minnesota with a flyball bomba of his own.
In the home half of the inning, Taylor Rogers struggled, putting two men in scoring position with one out, but Tyler Duffey came in and slammed the door.
- Roof closed tonight.
- If you’re keeping track at home, Nelson Cruz has eight homers already. That puts him on a 162-game pace for 68 bombas.
- Enough games have been played that the standings are finally starting to normalize a bit, and make sense.
Max Kepler: 2-4, HR
Eddie Rosario: 1-5, HR
Nelson Cruz: 1-5, HR
Miguel Sano: 2-3, HR, 2 BB
No Duds, Twins win!
Tomorrow: Off day. Friday’s game is at home against the Tigers at 7:10pm (look for the recap around 11)