MIN: Luis Arraez 2B, Jorge Polanco SS, Nelson Cruz DH, Miguel Sano 3B, Eddie Rosario LF, Jake Cave RF, Marwin Gonzalez 1B, Alex Avila C, Byron Buxton CF, Randy Dobnak P
CLE: Greg Allen CF, Jose Ramirez 3B, Francisco Lindor SS, Franmil Reyes DH, Derek Dietrich LF, Cesar Hernandez 2B, Carlos Santana 1B, Domingo Santana RF, Roberto Perez C, Shane Bieber P
Baseball wins are an odd thing. Randy Dobnak exited in the fifth inning, so even though he pitched the longest and left with a 4-1 lead, he doesn’t get the win. Zack Littell pitched a hitless 2.1 innings through the seventh, eighth, and part of the ninth. Instead, the official scorer gives the victory to the (admittedly effective) middle reliever. Matt Wisler pitched 1.2 innings, giving up two hits, and striking out three, and getting the win in the process. I’m sure his mother is very proud.
(Also, it gave me a good excuse to make this stupid pun.)
Anyhow, the Twins took a decisive victory, with a team performance on the mound, and some effective bats coming through.
Starting from the third batter of the game, the Twins never again trailed. With Jorge Polanco hitting safely in front of him, Nelson Cruz hit a giant flyball, and gave the Twins a two-run home run for the lead. They would double their lead in fifth, with Marwin Gonzalez leading off with a bunt hit up the third-base side of the field. Byron Buxton added to the bomba counter for the day, hitting another two-run shot to make it 4-0 in favor of Minnesota.
Dobnak got into a jam in the fifth, walking two men, before suffering an injury which prompted the call to the pen, and Wisler entering with men on the corners and one out. The inherited lead runner scored, but that was the only blemish on the day for Minnesota’s fine pitching.
The final two runs came off the unlikely bat of Alex Avila again. Maybe he is finally heating up, past the halfway point of the season. Gonzalez was again on base, this time following a walk, and Avila hit the third two-run homer of the game for the Twins.
- Avila has three home runs this year, two in this series. He also has 11 RBIs, five of which were in this series.
- All six Twins runs came off Shane Bieber.
- Dobnak is expected to miss about two weeks due to wrist soreness. He is headed to the 15-day IL. Devin Smeltzer will take his spot in the rotation.
- By the way, Rich Hill suffered a setback in his recovery, and will be out awhile longer.
Jorge Polanco: 3-5, run scored
Nelson Cruz: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, run scored
Marwin Gonzalez: 1-3, BB, 2 runs scored
Alex Avila: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, run scored, BB
Byron Buxton: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, run scored
No duds, Twins win!
Tomorrow: A trip to Kansas City, as the Twins face the Royals at 7:10 pm