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Twins 3, White Sox 2: Pineda + Buxton = Losing streak snapped

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So they DO bring some excitement back to the Twins!

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
If Buck didn’t rob this, the game would have been quite different.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins desperately needed a win tonight, especially against American League Central rivals in the Chicago White Sox. Although their playoff chances haven’t really taken a hit during the six-game losing streak, they’ve fallen in the standings. I didn’t really have to tell you that, did I?

Michael Pineda made his 2020 debut this evening after serving his suspension, and it was a bit of a rocky start. Maybe shaking some rust off? Who knows? Not I. Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu were able to get singles off of Big Mike right away in the top of the first (with a flyout between the two at-bats). Eloy Jimenez knocked a two-out double to left field and brought them both in, making the score 2-0 before the home team could get to the bat rack.

After that, Big Mike was able to settle in, facing the minimum in the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings while striking out three Sox batters. The fifth inning proved difficult, allowing two singles and issuing a walk - all with two outs. A mound visit from Wes Johnson went probably something like, “Hey, Pineda. Let me tell you something. Our pitching staff is shot a.f. right now. I need you to pitch better and not allow runs. Derek and Thad did not get us another pitcher at the deadline for some reason, even though I rubbed their feet and checked their closets for the boogeyman every night since I was brought aboard. Did you see the bullpen last night? Eff that. Please, for the love of everything, get out of this inning without any damage. I can’t stand this anymore.” Pineda got Abreu to ground out on the first pitch after that speech and put up a zero. Byron Buxton robbed Edwin Encarnacion of a homer in the sixth.

Dallas Keuchel kept the Twins batters in check all night, although that’s pretty easy to do these days, especially if you have the ability to throw the ball at a high rate of speed with some type of grip and/or spin with your left hand/arm towards a guy crouching behind a weird-shaped piece of rubber for him to catch. Even though the local nine got a runner on board in every inning Keuchel was on the mound - a walk by Nelson Cruz in the first, a walk-off single by Eddie Rosario in the second, back-to-back singles by Jorge Polanco and Cruz in the third, a single by Buxton and a walk by Ildemaro Vargas in the fourth - none were able to have a teammate bring them to cross home. Until the fifth inning, that is.

After a Miguel Sano strikeout (did you hear he was in the lead-off spot tonight???), Polanco and Cruz strung together back-to-back singles. Marwin Gonzalez came up to bat and grounded into a double play. Well, it would have been a double play if Abreu knew how to catch a ball. LOL! Polanco scored on the error, Gonzalez reached, and Cruz was out. Rosario hit a single, but Ehire Adrianza said, “No thanks,” and lined out to end the inning.

Minnesota was able to get more traffic on in the sixth off of reliever Jimmy Cordero, which is quite a cowboy name. Jake Cave came in to pinch-hit for Vargas and legged out a one-out triple which was followed by a pinch-hit RBI double by Luis Arraez, who was hitting for Ryan Jeffers. However, Arraez did a TOOTBLAN and went for third on a Sano grounder to the shortstop and was thrown out. Polanco lined out and that was that, but the team tied the game at two runs apiece.

The seventh also saw some Twins baserunners that resulted in runs! Cordero was pulled in favor of Evan Marshall after a Cruz double. With two outs and Gonzalez on first after drawing a walk, Buxton shot a line drive to left field for a single, bringing in Cruz to take the lead, 3-2. Ross Detwiler was called in from the ‘pen and got Cave to strike out and end the threat. Steve Cishek struck out the side in the eighth to squash any idea of insurance runs that the Twins thought about obtaining.

Caleb Thielbar allowed a baserunner in the seventh but escaped cleanly and notched two strikeouts, Sergio Romo pitched a perfect eighth, and Matt Wisler came out for the ninth and induced a groundout and two strikeouts to shut the door on Chicago for the night.

Twins 3, White Sox 2
W: Thielbar (1-0)
L: Cordero (0-2)
S: Wisler (1)

RUBBER MATCH! Jose Berrios (2-3, 4.75 ERA/4.36 FIP) takes the mound for the Twins tomorrow night. Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 9.00 ERA/7.01 FIP) will make his fourth start of the year for the South Side. Game time is slated for 710p Central.


  • If the offense should be known for something tonight, it’s that they got seven hits off of Dallas Keuchel, tying a season high for the lefty.
  • Matt Wisler earned his second career save, making him the fourth Twins reliever to positively convert a save opportunity this season. (Taylor Rogers 7, Sergio Romo 3, Trevor May 1)
  • May 5, 2014: The last time Caleb Thielbar earned the W before getting the win tonight. (h/t to the radio crew for that)


  • Michael Pineda: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, BB, 4 K
  • Nelson Cruz: 3-3, R, BB
  • Byron Buxton: 2-4, RBI, home run robbery
  • THE BULLPEN - YES, THE BULLPEN (Caleb Thielbar, Sergio Romo, Matt Wisler): 3.0 IP, H, 4 K




doomsdayshark’s comment about not giving Joel COTG if Minnesota didn’t score. Good thing they scored!!


Enjoy the evening!