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Twins 7, Cleveland 5: More dingers, more injuries

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A nice list of homers from the Twins completes the sweep, but Trevor May, Miguel Sano, and Eddie Rosario had to leave the game.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins
let’s talk about Jeff, baby
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

On the coldest weekend so far this season, your Twins hit homers. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Maybe they should play in US Bank Stadium and crank the AC up to 11.

Young Triston McKenzie had some early success against the top of Minnesota’s lineup, with nothing much going on until a LaMonte Wade Jr. walk and subsequent Marwin Gonzalez moonshot, followed one inning later by a Nelson Cruz solo dong. Wade would OBP his way into another run later, when McKenzie plunked him on a 1-2 count and Ryan Jeffers launched his third of the year. McKenzie did rack up seven Ks in his 4.1 innings; maybe he’ll be another good Cleveland starter, because they have All The Pitchers.

(McKenzie’s nickname is “Dr. Sticks,” given to him by fellow 2015 draftee Todd Isaacs for being rather lanky. He pitched very well in the minors, missed all of 2019 with muscle strains, and just got promoted to the bigs last month, skipping AAA entirely.)

In his third start back after serving a suspension, Michael Pineda got BAbipped around a little, getting eight strikeouts yet giving up seven singles (plus a double and walk that didn’t score anything). This drove up his pitch count, and he left after 4.2 innings for his shortest start this season. Most of his damage happened at the hands of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana, who gave Cleveland their early 3-0 lead.

Caleb Thielbar helped put out Pineda’s mess, but then got into his own one inning later by issuing leadoff walks to Cleveland hitters batting .217 and .136 on the season. One would score, making the tally 6-4 Twins after his departure.

(Run 6 came courtesy of Josh Donaldson‘s solo dong off Cal Quantrill, son of Paul. Paul was a good reliever for Toronto, a team that has eight trillion sons of big-leaguers on their roster now. Gonzalez added a sac fly later.)

Trevor May, who ended Thielbar’s jam, left in the seventh with some kind of back injury. His replacement, Cody Stashak, let Cleveland get back within 7-5, but got Lindor to fly out deep into defensive replacement Byron Buxton‘s glove with a runner on second to end the inning.

(On that play, Buxton collided with Eddie Rosario‘s left elbow. Jake Cave replaced him on defense in the ninth. Updates in May and Rosario’s status when available. UPDATE: per Baldelli, all the injuries seem “mild,” including Miguel Sano‘s sore neck that caused him to leave the lineup as well. Sounds like the dreaded “day-to-day” with all three.)

Avoiding what could have been an unpleasant interaction, Baldelli had Sergio Romo skip Lindor and come in for the one-inning save instead. He threw quite a few pitches and gave up two singles, yet got the job done and didn’t get snippy with any Spiders. Robot Roll Call:

COTG go to Uncle Lincoln for “The reason Cleveland’s pitching has been so good is that they’re cheating; They’re banging trash cans to let the pitcher know which swing is coming next,” and BH-Twins for looking up Quantrill’s parentage faster than I did.

Non-COTG goes to the box score for describing this thing as being three-hours-and-forty-three-minutes long.