MIN: Max Kepler RF, Luis Arraez 2B, Josh Donaldson 3B, Nelson Cruz DH, Eddie Rosario LF, Miguel Sano 1B, Jorge Polanco SS, Mitch Garver C, Byron Buxton CF, Jose Berrios P
CLE: Greg Allen CF, Tyler Naquin RF, Francisco Lindor SS, Jose Ramirez 3B, Franmil Reyes DH, Carlos Santana 1B, Jordan Luplow LF, Cesar Hernandez 2B, Roberto Perez C, Mike Clevinger P
When the announced starters are Jose Berrios and Mike Clevinger, you don’t expect a combined 15 runs in the game. Neither starter really had much to do with the final scores though. They both exited with nearly identical lines, giving up three runs each over 6.1 innings. Both walked two, although Clevinger gave up a home run, picked up more Ks, and gave up a couple fewer hits than Berrios. The fireworks in this one mostly came late in the game.
Cleveland struck first tonight, as Jose Berrios had a classic Brad Radke outing, needing an inning to get settled. They put up two runs on the Twins’ starter. Tyler Naquin started it out by walking with one out. Francisco Lindor, as always a pest, hit a single and so did Jose Ramirez which loaded the bases. Franmil Reyes brought in the first run with a sacrifice to right. Carlos Santana singled to the right side as well, which brought in the second.
The Twins were held scoreless by Clevinger until the fourth. Josh Donaldson opened that inning with a double. Two outs later, Miguel Sano hit his third home run in as many nights, tying the ballgame with a swing.
The two teams traded runs in the fifth, for the Twins this involved a triple by Kepler and a sacrifice fly by Arraez. For Cleveland, it was singles by (who else) Lindor and Ramirez, followed by a fielder’s choice at second.
Cleveland took a lead in the eighth inning, tagging Tyler Clippard again. This time it was a 365-foot long ball to right field, off the bat of Carlos Santana.
Up by a single run, in the top of the ninth, Cleveland turned to usually-solid closer and Minnesota native Brad Hand. Hand had no control tonight, and walked the first two batters he faced, Sano and Polanco. He seemed to settle in, striking out Mitch Garver. Byron Buxton was able to load the bases on an E1, and Max Kepler flew out to bring the Twins to their last out. Luis Arraez came to the plate. He hit an infield single that tied the game. Josh Donaldson broke the tie with a single that brought home both Polanco and Buxton. Hand’s night ended there, and James Karinchak came in. Nelson Cruz swatted Karinchak’s first offering 429 feet, giving the Twins a five-run lead.
Not denying us drama, Tyler Duffey allowed a double by Cesar Hernandez, struck out Roberto Perez, and then walked Greg Allen before exiting the game. Recently-called up Sean Poppen, who had an ERA just over 2 at Rochester, replaced Duffey. Poppen did not get an out, allowing two singles and walk, and in the process two more runs to score. Taylor Rogers entered, and got a GIDP to end the game and pick up a four-pitch save with the bases loaded.
- When the worst statistical hitter in your lineup (Polanco) is hitting .251/.303/.395, you have a good problem involved in your line up construction.
- Tyler Duffey was credited for 0.2 innings pitched, and two runs, but still picked up the win, because pitcher wins are the stupidest stat.
- Kenta Maeda is being recalled from his rehab assignment. Sean Poppen was optioned back to Rochester after the game to make room.
Josh Donaldson: 2-4, 2 RBI, double walk
Miguel Sano: 1-3, 2 RBI, HR, walk
No duds, Twins win!
Tomorrow: Rubber match in Cleveland. First pitch is at 12:10 pm Central (Look for the recap around 4pm)