MIN: Max Kepler RF, Jorge Polanco SS, Luis Arraez 2B, Miguel Sano 1B, Josh Donaldson 3B, Max Kepler RF, Nelson Cruz DH, Marwin Gonzalez LF, Byron Buxton CF, Devin Smeltzer P
LAA: Tommy Pham LF, Mike Trout CF, Anthony Rendon 3B, Shohei Ohtani RF, Justin Upton DH, Andrelton Simmons SS, David Fletcher 2B, Tommy La Stella 1B, Max Stassi C, Jared Walsh P
For some reason, the sim Angels started last night’s hero, first baseman/long reliever Jared Walsh, on the mound. The strategy worked out well enough, I guess. Better than starting Devin Smeltzer for the first time this season worked for the Twins.
The first half of the game was fairly high scoring for both teams, and none more than the top of the first, in which the Angels scored four runs against Smeltzer. As you can probably see from the title of this post, it was a rocky start.
Tommy Pham hit a solo home run.
Mike Trout hit a solo home run.
Anthony Rendon hit a solo home run
That’s what their offense is built to do, but wow. Smeltzer finally got the fourth batter of the inning to strike out, after taking Trout and Rendon to full counts. The Angels would still manage to small-ball in another run before Smeltzer escaped.
The Twins started chipping away at Walsh in the third, after he pitched two scoreless innings. Lead batter Jorge Polanco struck out, but then two walks, a single, and another walk meant Walsh ran out of places to put runners, and the Twins scored. That was the cue for Sam Moll to come in from the pen, and he got the next two men out, although another run scored on Nelson Cruz’s sac fly.
Sadly, the Angels put two more runs up in the fourth, and cut Smeltzer’s outing short. A walk by Stassi and a single by Rendon lead to Shohei Ohtani hitting a two-out, two-run double. Caleb Thielbar was called upon for the final out of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Twins struck again. Byron Buxton led off with a double, and scored easily on a single by Polanco. Arraez then hit one of the more rare baseball feats, a triple, for an RBI. The two teams would then trade zeros until the eighth inning.
In the eighth, Max Kepler took a lead off walk. Marwin Gonzalez pushed him around to third on a single, and then Buxton drove Kep in with a sac fly.
The Twins tried hard to tie the game in the ninth. Polanco collected Minnesota’s second triple, and Arraez and Sano both walked, loading the bases with no one out. Three straight ball-in-play outs ended the game with the Twins down a run though.
- Jake Odorizzi, who was recently un-suspended, will start tomorrow’s game.
- Seattle traded Matt Magill to the White Sox. With how tight the division is, any reinforcements there are bad.
Caleb Thielbar/Matt Wisler/Tyler Duffey/Sergio Romo: 5.1 combined innings, 2 hits, 0 runs allowed
Jorge Polanco: 3-5. RBI, Triple
Luis Arraez: 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, Triple
Mitch Garver: 0-5, 4 LOB
Josh Donaldson: 1-5, 6 LOB
Devin Smeltzer: 3.2 IP, 9 hits, 6 runs, 2 BB, 3 HR
Tomorrow: We try to salvage a win from this series with the Angels. First pitch 1:10 pm (look for a recap around 5 pm)