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Twins 5, White Sox 1: Bullpen, homers lift Twins

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Jake Odorizzi left with a finger injury but the bullpen carried the Twins

MLB: ALDS-Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
Cody Stashak came up big after Jake Odorizzi left with a finger injury.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Poor Jake Odorizzi.

After missing three weeks after being hit with a line drive in Kansas City just three starts into his 2020 campaign, Odorizzi only lasted 3 23 innings before being forced to leave with a finger injury. It was unclear if it was a blister, a cut, or an issue with his fingernail, but a frustrated Odorizzi left after a visit from the trainer in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Twins already had a 3-1 lead at that point, with a homer from Jose Abreu the only blemish on Odo’s record. Cody Stashak came into the game in the midst of Yoan Moncada’s at-bat and finished him off with a strikeout, and the White Sox didn’t manage another baserunner.

Odorizzi gave up two hits and one walk over 3 23 innings, and the bullpen threw 5 13 perfect innings.

Offensively, the Twins got on the board back in the second inning with a leadoff home run from Eddie Rosario. In the fourth inning, Rosario led-off with a walk and scored on a two-run homer from Byron Buxton.

The next few innings were an unfortunate repeat of recent games, with one three-up, three-down inning, an inning with two singles that was killed by a double-play, and a leadoff double from Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning. Still, the Twins held their 3-1 lead until the eighth.

Josh Donaldson began the inning with a walk, and after a groundout from Cruz and a strikeout by Rosario, Miguel Sano worked a 3-1 count and blasted a high fastball over the centerfield wall to extend the Twins’ lead to 5-1.

After Stashak threw 2 13 perfect innings with two strikeouts, Tyler Duffey needed only 26 pitches to complete two innings of his own, also with two strikeouts. Then, the struggling Trevor May came in and struck-out the side, blowing them away with 97 mile-per-hour fastballs and securing the win.

Notes

  • What a tough year for Odorizzi. After eschewing free agency last offseason and signing a one-year, $17.8 million deal to stay with the Twins and test the market again last offseason. Then, of course, the season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Odorizzi got a late start to the season due to injury. And then, three starts in, he was hit by a liner in K.C. and was back on the injured list. Here’s hoping the finger issue can be solved without another stint on the IL.
  • Byron Buxton continues to be an absolute game-changer for the Twins. As Rocco Baldelli and others have said, his presence, both on defense and in the lineup, lifts the entire team.
  • Everyone in the lineup reached base at least once, and Max Kepler and Donaldson were the only ones to not log a hit.
  • The Twins may be a bit shorthanded in the bullpen for Thursday’s matinee, and they don’t have an off day until Monday. Here’s hoping for a strong start from Kenta Maeda.

Studs

  • Twins pitching staff: 9 IP, 1 R, 2 H, BB, 10 K
  • Byron Buxton: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
  • Miguel Sano: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
  • Eddie Rosario: 1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 R

Duds

  • Really, truly none. Everyone reached base, and everyone pitched well.
  • Twins win! Twins win!
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