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Twins 3, Cardinals 0: Offense only somewhat needed

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Twins pitching shuts down the Cardinals

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Minnesota Twins
Check out those powder blues!
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Only scoring three runs looks a lot different when the opponent puts up zero.

(Plus, you can’t miss those powder blue unis!)

The Twins scored one in the first inning, and that’s actually all that the Minnesota would need to tally the win behind a dominant performance behind RIch Hill and a fantastic bullpen.

Nelson Cruz tallied a first-inning RBI double, scoring Luis Arraez, who had walked. The Twins wouldn’t score again until the fourth, but Hill was already on his way to a momentous performance.

Hill ultimately pitched five scoreless innings, throwing just 68 pitches. He turned it over to a Twins bullpen, that save for shoddy performances from Devin Smeltzer and Zach Littell in Saturday’s loss to the White Sox, has been fantastic.

Indeed, after Hill went five innings pitched with two hits and two strikeouts and only one walk, the Twins bullpen combined for four innings and only one hit with no walks, tallying seven strikeouts along the way. That includes Tyler Duffey striking out the side in the sixth and Taylor Rogers striking out two batters en route to his first save of the season in the ninth.

As for the offense, after Cruz’s first-inning RBI, the Twins notched a one-out solo bomb from Eddie Rosario in the fourth inning and a two-out, RBI single from Arraez in the same frame to account for the scoring.

And that was it. In addition to Duffey and Rogers bookending the four innings of relief pitching, Sergio Romo and Tyler Clippard each pitched scoreless innings in relief as well.

Shoutout to Aaron Whitefield, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh innings, shuffling the Twins’ defensive alignment. He grounded out to second base in his first-ever major-league at-bat.

Overall, after winning three of their first four contests with relative ease, it was nice to see the Twins hang on to a modest lead en route to a 4-1 start to the season.

As always, here are your studs and duds...

Studs

  • Rich Hill: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 K, BB, 0 ER, W
  • Eddie Rosario: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, R
  • Luis Arraez: 1-for-3, BB, RBI, R
  • Twins Bullpen: 4 IP, H, 7 K, 0 BB, 0 ER

Duds

  • None tonight! Twins win, Twins win!