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Twins 2, Giants 1: Buxton and Bailey (simulated)

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Twins center fielder makes difference in classic pitcher’s duel

Minnesota Twins Spring Training Workout Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Today’s lineups:

MIN:

MIN: Max Kepler RF, Jorge Polanco SS, Luis Arraez 2B, Josh Donaldson 3B, Eddie Rosario DH, Miguel Sano 1B, Jake Cave LF, Byron Buxton CF, Alex Avila C, Homer Bailey P

SF: Billy Hamilton CF, Brandon Belt 1B, Yasiel Puig RF, Austin Slater LF, Evan Longoria 3B, Wilmer Flores, Brandon Crawford SS, Yolmer Sanchez 2B, Buster Posey C, Andrew Triggs P


Are you a fan of old-school pitching duels, low-scoring games, and less than a combined hit per inning? Then this was the game for you!

Both starters pitched seven complete innings, and neither bullpen gave up a hit. Homer Bailey was just slightly better than Andrew Triggs today, although both were very good.

Bailey gave up one run on three hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. Triggs gave up two runs on five hits, a walk, and four strikeouts. Neither hit 100 pitches tonight (95 for Triggs, 96 for Bailey.)

Two of Minnesota’s hits came in the bottom of the first, with back-to-back singles by Polanco and Arraez that did nothing on the scoreboard. No one else hit safely until the bottom of the fourth.

Josh Donaldson led off the fourth with a double on a rope between the right- and centerfielders of San Francisco. Eddie Rosario put runners on the corners with no outs on a single, and then Miguel Sano brought Donaldson home with a sac fly to the left fielder. Jake Cave wore an 0-2 pitch, but the inning ended on a 6-4-3 grounder from Buxton.

The Giants finally collected a hit in the fifth, a single by Austin Slater, but Bailey didn’t allow another ball into play in the inning, striking out the next three men. The Giants did score in the top of the sixth, tying the game on one hit and some poor control from Bailey. Buster Posey took a one-out walk, advanced to second on a balk, and took third on a groundball to first. Brandon Belt belted a single that scored Posey, and Puig collected another walk before Austin Slater struck out to end the inning.

The only hit for the rest of the game was the difference maker. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Byron Buxton up to bat, and Andrew Triggs still on the mound, Buxton took a ball, and then turned on a 1-0 pitch. The ball soared 432 feet in the air, over the left-center wall, and gave the Twins the final score.

Notes

  • Tyler Duffey gets a hold, Taylor Rogers gets another save.
  • Bailey is now 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA. He’s a bargain at this rate.
  • Cleveland lost, giving the Twins sole possession of first place in the AL Central

STUDS:

Homer Bailey: 7.0 IP, 1 run, 7K, 3 hits
Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers: 1 IP each, no baserunners allowed
Byron Buxton: 1-3, HR, RBI

DUDS:

No Duds, Twins win!!!

Tomorrow: The Giants’ second game ever at Target Field. First Pitch 6:40 central. (Look for a recap around 10pm)

Standings:
MIN 20-15 —
CLE 20-17 1
CHW 17-17 2 1/2
DET 16-18 3 1/2
KCR 13-22 7