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Twins 7, Reds 3: Keep holding on

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Minnesota retains first place - at least for one more night.

Cincinnati Reds v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

No bombas to be found tonight, but the Twins will be taking submissions for a new doubles-themed offensive nickname.

It was gappers all day for the Twins, who prevailed through a wet and muggy Saturday night thanks largely to a combined eight two-baggers, which nearly tied a team record. In his return from the IL, Luis Arraez had three pair-a-bases, as part of a four-hit game.

Two more twin-sackers came from Max Kepler’s bat; he scored three times from the top of the order.

Eddie Rosario, Marwin Gonzalez, and Ehire Adrianza each added half-diamonds of their own.

Minnesota needed those runs tonight - and almost more for morale than for actual insurance. Cincinnati got out to an early 2-0 lead, and threatened hard in the seventh by loading the bases with only one out. With the unrelenting Reds across the field, and the determined Chicago White Sox storming back against their crosstown rivals elsewhere in the Midwest, each additional run brought with it a little more room to breathe.

Starter Michael Pineda struggled with his pitch count again, lasting just four innings and walking three Cincinnati hitters. Four arms ran out of the bullpen; of them, only Cody Stashak allowed another run. Taylor Rogers served a fireman role tonight, getting Joey Votto to chase(!) on a full-count pitch with the bags jammed during a huge stop in the visiting seventh.

Tyler Duffey was pretty as could be, striking out the side to seal the victory in the ninth.

With that — barring an eleventh-hour rally by the Cubs — the Twins will enter the season’s final afternoon with a one-game lead over the White Sox.

All they need is a win tomorrow to seal the Central title.

See you then!

STUDS:

RF Max Kepler (2-for-3, 3 R, BB, 2 2B)

2B Luis Arraez (4-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3 2B)

RP Taylor Rogers (1.1 IP, H, K)

RP Tyler Duffey (1.1 IP, 3 K)

DUDS:

NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!

ROBOT ROLL CALL: