MIN: Max Kepler RF, Luis Arraez 2B, Josh Donaldson 3B, Miguel Sano 1B, Eddie Rosario LF, Nelson Cruz DH, Jorge Polanco SS, Willians Astudillo C, Byron Buxton CF, Kenta Maeda P
LAA: Tommy Pham LF, Anthony Rendon 3B, Mike Trout CF, Jared Walsh 1B, Justin Upton DH, Brian Goodwin RF, Andrelton Simmons SS, David Fletcher 2B, Max Stassi C, Shohei Ohtani P
Starting pitching was a surprising bright spot over the last month. Lately, its been a weakness, and that continued tonight. Kenta Maeda continued the trend of short outings and too many runs given up, but the Twins were in this game until near the end.
After both teams traded zeroes in the first, Brian Goodwin hit a sharp single to center in the second. Andrelton Simmons followed him by hitting a RBI double. Simmons scored on a single by Max Stassi to put the visitors up two to nothing.
In the bottom of the second, Miguel Sano continued his breakout, showcasing his prodigious power by hitting a 407 foot solo shot to bring the game back within one.
The Angels tried to blow the game open in the fourth. Tommy Pham stepped to the plate with a man on base, and made the score 4-1 by hitting a 452 foot no-doubter to left center. Eddie Rosario had other ideas though. Josh Donaldson opened the bottom of four with a walk, and Miguel Sano had stroked a double, putting two men on. Rosario pulled a ball over the fence, and tied the game with a big bomba.
The Angels broke the tie in the fifth, with back-to-back doubles by Simmons and David Fletcher.
The game didn’t get out of hand until the top of the eighth though. Tyler Clippard left runners on second and third for Caleb Thielbar. After sandwiching an intentional walk of Mike Trout between two outs, Thielbar faced Justing Upton. Upton watched the first pitch, a ball, and then sent the second pitch soaring 445 feet for a grand slam, which opened up the game once and for all.
The Twins did add a run in the ninth, it would have tied the game if Meat Raffle had escaped the jam. Oh well. That one was another big-air bomba, this time hit by Jorge Polanco.
- Sano’s 18 home runs are good for #6 in baseball. Matt Olson of Oakland leads everyone with 21.
- Clippard and Thielbar each got credited with two runs. Clippard’s ERA is 4.76, Thielbar’s is 5.06, and the bullpen as a whole has been struggling a bit lately too.
- Despite that ERA, Thielbar has a BAA of .200, a WHIP of .94, and a monstrous 16.9 k/9
- The MLB draft was today. I let the computer auto-draft it.
Miguel Sano: 2-4, RBI, HR, double
Eddie Rosario: 1-3. 3 RBI, HR, walk
Caleb Thielbar: 0.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, walk, HR
Byron Buxton: 0-4, 2K
Tomorrow: Game two of four with the Angels. First pitch 7:10 pm (look for a recap around 11 pm)