Rich Hill, a.k.a. Dick Mountain, didn’t have a good outing after coming off the Injured List. I probably don’t have to remind you about that. But I do need to remind you of that as Dick Mountain needed to have a bounceback start, maybe to legitimize himself as a piece of the Minnesota Twins starting rotation.
He validated it tonight against Cleveland, but it took some convincing.
Jose Ramirez hit a single as the second batter of the game. He then stole not only second but also third base during Francisco Lindor’s at bat. (I honestly don’t remember if it was on consecutive pitches, my apologies, but I think it was.) Lindor ended up grounding out to third base; Gonzalez stared down Ramirez to keep him put and threw out Lindor. However, Carlos Santana, not the guy from the band Santana, slapped a grounder through the left side of the infield to give the Spiders an early 1-0 lead. Although Franmil Reyes hit a single in the next at-bat, he got greedy and was thrown out at second, thanks to an outfield assist from Eddie Rosario.
Dick Mountain went on to face the minimum in the next two frames, allowing a hit and picking off a runner in the second inning. He allowed some traffic in the fourth, but struck out Domingo Santana to end that threat. After that, Dick Mountain struck out the side in the home half of the fifth inning and that would end his night: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K. I’ll take it.
The offense got to Cleveland starter Shane Bieber in the second inning. Yes, he’s not invincible! And the Twins helped! Miguel Sano walked (take a moment for that to sink in) and he moved to second two batters later after Marwin Gonzalez walked on four pitches. A Luis Arraez double and a Max Kepler single each plated one run. Unfortunately, Jorge Polanco grounded out, but the Twins had the lead with a score of 2-1.
Twins batters could only scrape together a walk (another one by Sano!) and a single for the next four innings while Bieber was on the mound. In total, Minnesota was the strikeout victim ten times at the hand of the Spiders starter.
Stop me if you heard this before, but the bullpen coughed up the game again. This time, young flamethrower Jorge Alcala is the one to blame. He started off the inning by giving up a single to Jose Ramirez followed up by a Lindor homer. Alcala issued a walk and Tyler Naquin plated the run with an RBI double, giving the Spiders a 4-2 lead. Sean Poppen held the home team to two walks for two innings while striking out two batters for the remainder of the game.
Oliver Perez, James Karinchak, and Brad Hand held the local nine to two hits and a walk, striking out two more batters to close the door.
Cleveland 4, Twins 2
W: Bieber (6-0)
L: Alcala (1-1)
S: Hand (8)
The rubber match is set for tomorrow evening at 6:10p Central. Jose Berrios, a.k.a. “La MaKina”, (2-3, 4.75 ERA/4.15 FIP) will take the ball for the Twins. The Spiders will complete a transaction as they have announced they’ll be calling up rule-breaker extraordinaire Mike Clevinger, a.k.a. “Sunshine”, (1-1, 3.24 ERA/6.25 FIP) for tomorrow’s start.
ODDS AND ENDS:
- The Twins’ runs in the second inning broke Shane Bieber’s 14-inning scoreless streak this season and nine-inning scoreless streak against Minnesota.
- Miguel Sano’s eight-game streak with an extra-base hit ended tonight. But at least your get your free Chick-fil-A sandwich tomorrow if you’re in the Twin Cities or St Cloud!
- Dick Mountain: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K
- Miguel Sano: 1-2, R, 2 BB, K
- Jorge Alcala: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, K
- Nelson Cruz: 0-4, 3 K
- LaMonte Wade Jr: 0-4, 3 K
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD:
NOT PART OF THE TWINS BULLPEN:
Thank you all for a lively game thread tonight!