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Twins 5, Pirates 2: Dobnak does it again

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The Twins continued their streak of dominant pitching

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Pittsburgh Pirates
I bet Dobnak would have managed more than one strikeout if he threw the ball with that mustache.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have won six games in a row and now have a three-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the Central Division.

The Twins enjoyed a six-inning, three-hit, zero-run performance from Randy Dobnak, who now has an ERA of 0.60 and a WHIP of 0.87 in three starts. That’s what the kids call “video game numbers”, I do believe.

On this night, Dobnak kept an anemic Pittsburgh Pirates lineup off-balance. Out of 18 outs recorded by Dobber, as he’s now apparently affectionally known, only one came via strike-out. He was efficient, too, only needing 71 pitches while walking zero batters.

The Twins’ offense was a bit sluggish once again, scoring only one run over the course of the first eight innings. In the second inning, Jake Cave was hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a Luis Arraez groundout, and after Mitch Garver stuck out, Cave came around to score on a gift hit by Marwin Gonzalez — a popup down the third-base line that landed right on the chalk.

The Twins carried their 1-0 lead all the way until the ninth inning. Following six scoreless innings from Dobank, Cody Stashak worked a perfect seventh inning with one strikeout and Tyler Duffey did the same in the eighth, logging two Ks. With Sergio Romo warming in the ‘pen, the Twins set out to get an insurance run or two in the top of the ninth.

Byron Buxton, who had entered the game in the seventh as a defensive replacement, doubled down the left-field line. After Arraez popped out and failed to advance him, Garver walked and Gonzalez came through again, driving an RBI single to the outfield.

Ehire Adrianza struck out, but with two down, Max Kepler made sure the Twins received a trio of additional insurance runs, clobbering his fourth home run of the season to right field.

With the Twins up 5-0, Rocco Baldelli gave the ball to Jorge Alcala in the ninth inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Josh Bell, but the Twins held on for the 5-2 win.

Notes

  • As mentioned, the Twins are now a full game ahead of Chicago following the Pale Hose’s (?) 1-0 loss to Milwaukee.
  • The Yankees split a doubleheader with Philadelphia, and that means the Twins are the first team to 10 wins and currently have the best winning percentage in baseball! (Not including the Marlins, who are just 5-1 after missing a week’s worth of games due to their COVID-19 outbreak.)
  • The Twins only have one more game against Pittsburgh this year, and that’s Thursday’s 12:35 CT matinee.

Studs

  • Randy Dobnak: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, K, 0 BB
  • Marwin Gonzalez: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, R
  • Max Kepler: 1-for-4, 3 RBI, HR, BB
  • Stashak & Duffey: Combined 2 IP, 3 K, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R

Duds

  • Eddie Rosario: 0-for-4, only Twins batter not to reach base