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Twins 12, Oakland 4: A spectacular home opener (simulated)

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Jake and Jake had what it takes

Minnesota Twins v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Today’s lineups:

MIN: Kepler RF, Polanco SS, Cruz DH, Sano 1B, Donaldson 3B, Arraez 2B, Buxton CF, Cave LF, Avila C, Odorizzi P

OAK: Semien SS, Laureano CF, Olson 1B, Chapman 3B, Canha LF, Davis DH, Piscotty RF, Pinder 2B, Murphy C, Montas P


Nothing like the first game of the season at digital Target Field, right? The Twins were certainly feeling frisky, as they hung 12 runs on the Athletics today, and gave the home crowd an easy win.

The first inning started out the game out on the right foot—Jake Odorizzi held the A’s scoreless, and the Twins put a crooked number on the board. Nelson Cruz took a two-out walk. Svelte first baseman Miguel Sano cranked the third pitch he saw into the left-field seats for a 380 foot, 2-run bomba.

The top of the second was just like the top of the first—scoreless. The bottom was once again, not scoreless. This time Luis Arraez lead off with a single. He scored when that show-off, Jake Cave, hit a “show-off double” (aka a triple,) that just missed being a home run to deep center.

Nobody scored in the third, or the top of the fourth, but Jake Cave avenged his mistake in the bottom of the fourth. With Byron Buxton on second thanks to a lead-off double, Cave came up and hit a no-doubter to right-center, 411 feet on the fly, to make the score five to nothing, in favor of the good guys. Frankie Montas yielded the mound to T.J. McFarland. He has a good name, you know. Anyway, McFarland stopped the bleeding, and kept the Twins from scoring in the rest of the fourth or the fifth inning.

Jake Odorizzi was on a roll as well, holding Oakland scoreless through five-and-two-thirds before being relieved by Tyler Clippard. Clippard would give up the shutout in the seventh, allowing Khris Davis, Sean Murphy, Marcus Semien, and Ramon Laureano to all hit singles, and the first two men to score. The Twins got the runs back in the bottom of the inning though. With Joakim Soria astride the mound, Josh Donaldson and Luis Arraez were both issued free passes with one out. Jake Diekman came on to face Buxton, and induced a 5-4 fielder’s choice at second, putting runners on the corners. That brought up Jake Cave, who must have been wearing the Player’s Weekend unis, as a wild pitch moved both runners up before Cave drew a walk. Alex Avila’s single scored Buxton, before Oakland turned to the third pitcher of the inning, Brian Schlitter, to finally collect the third out.

In the eighth inning, Sergio Romo’s struggles continued, as he gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced, Matt Chapman, and put a runner on third, before Cody Stashak came into the game. Stashak allowed the inherited runner to score on a single, accounting for the final run of the game for Oakland. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins would rack up some runs and put the game out of reach. Here is the bullet point version:

  • Nelson Cruz walked
  • Miguel Sano single, Cruz to third
  • Donaldson walked, bases loaded
  • Luis Arraez walked, Cruz scored, bases still loaded
  • Byron Buxton sac fly, Sano scored, Donaldson to third, Arraez holds at first.
  • Jake Cave double, Donaldson scored, Arraez to third.
  • Alex Avila groundout, Arraez scores, Cave to third.
  • Kepler single, Cave scores.

In total, the Twins scored five runs on three hits in the inning. Oakland used three different pitchers again. Taylor Rogers made quick work of the ninth, and the final score was 12-4 Twins.

Notes

  • Sorry this is late. TJ lost track of time on a real-life project. The game went 4:31 though, so really, I’m not that late.
  • It was clear and cold for the game, with a temperature of 41 and the wind blowing out to right.
  • About 39,000 fans showed up for the home opener.
  • Kenta Maeda’s injury yesterday was a sore shoulder, which will cost him five weeks. He was placed on the 15-day IL, and Jhoulys Chacin was promoted to take his place.
  • If you’re even a little bit enjoying this, look for a post tomorrow, the folks at OOTP have provided us with a copy of the game to give away

STUDS:

Jake Cave: 3-4, HR, 4 RBI
Jake Odorizzi: 5.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs

DUDS:

No Duds, TWINS WIN!!!

Tomorrow: Off day. We resume on Saturday. First Pitch is 1:10 Central (look for the recap around five pm.)

SIM TWINS: 5-3, 12 game behind Chicago.