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Twins 8, Cleveland 4: Revenge of the Bomba Squad

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The Twins use five home runs to knock Cleveland down a peg.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins sent less than half a dozen baseballs into seats located in the fair-territory section of the baseball facility known as Target Field.

Or, in other words, five key dingers reminded the nation that the Bomba Squad ain’t done hittin’ bombas yet.

After gaining the edge on Cleveland ace Shane Bieber last night, the Twins took early advantage against another such dealer. Zach Plesac had only allowed four homers heading into tonight’s contest; by the time his start was through, that number was up to seven.

It was an early lead for Minnesota. Marwin Gonzalez and Willians Astudillo went back-to-back in the second inning to open up a 3-0 lead. After Cleveland closed that lead to a run in the fourth, the Twins bounced right back with a Byron Buxton homer in the bottom half.

While his line included seven strikeouts and just two runs let in, starter Rich Hill enjoyed somewhat of a characteristically laborious performance, with fourth-inning trouble and a pitch count of an even 90 expediting his departure after his usual five innings.

While Hill isn’t the first pitcher to have utilized a repertoire absent of velocity, there is the notion that it might not take two full trips through the lineup for a batting order to get the read on your mid-80s fastball. By the fourth inning, Cleveland had begun to make consistent contact. By the sixth, Rocco had dipped into the pen.

Matt Wisler and Tyler Clippard each allowed an earned run tonight, but the most frustrating score came in the eighth. With the Twins up just 5-3 at the time, Jose Ramirez singled, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and rather tumbled into home plate on a passed ball by Ryan Jeffers.

Thankfully, the bats had some juice left in them, and insurance policies were promptly cashed. Considering that one pair of back-to-back jacks was pleasant enough, Minnesota doubled down with another set of doubled-up dingers — this time, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano cashed in home runs.

All told, it was 8-4 heading into the ninth, and heading out of the ninth the score remained the same. Taylor Rogers closed out the ballgame, and the Twins notched their 29th win of the season.

Cleveland is slipping at the worst possible time, losing five in a row and seeing their divisional deficit drop to 3.5 games. Minnesota, meanwhile, is hanging tight at a single game behind, setting themselves up for a dramatic statement series on the South Side of Chicago.

Unfortunately, one Twin will not be on the roster for the trip.

The fracture in question came on a hit-by-pitch in the middle innings, after which Rooker was pulled from the game. A tough way to go out, but Brent’s move to the IL will mean the team regains Max Kepler.

The season series with Cleveland finishes up tomorrow - how close to first can the Twins get before leaving home?

STUDS:

LF Eddie Rosario (2-for-4, 2 RBI, HR)

2B Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-3, 2 RBI, HR)

DUDS:
NO DUDS! TWINS WIN!

ROBOT ROLL CALL:

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