The Twins have only dropped three ballgames this spring, but they’ve all come — home, road, or otherwise — in ten innings.
Today was no exception; after avoiding a shutdown inning every time the Mariners took the lead, Minnesota failed to score their 10th-inning runner after Seattle did so in the top half. Keynan Middleton induced some weak contact for a quick pair of outs, and Byron Buxton was beat at first by a sharply-hit grounder to end the game.
This came after a 10th inning in which the visiting Mariners advanced their ghost runner with a bunt single, before Taylor Rogers recorded three straight outs. One of them was a sacrifice fly — as a result, Seattle trotted home the winning run of the game.
The Twins were unable to take a lead in this one; Nelson Cruz’s fourth homer of the year came only after starter Michael Pineda had given up a pair of solo shots in the top of the third. Kyle Seager helped his team retake the lead with a two-out RBI single in the eighth — only for Jake Cave to score on a wild pitch from Rafael Montero, who issued two walks (one intentional) and hit a batsman in an erratic half-inning of work.
There were some nice performances in this one and some positive takeaways, but the team has failed to execute in three 10-inning games this season, which is starting to sting! I, for one, am ready for some standard nine-inning losses that don’t feel like they’re slipping through our fingers.
DH Nelson Cruz (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB)
CF Byron Buxton (2-for-4)
RP Taylor Rogers (2 IP, H, 0 ER)
2B Jorge Polanco (0-for-5, K)
C Mitch Garver (0-for-4, 2 K)
3B Luis Arraez (0-for-4, K)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|12||The Empire Strikes Out||1|
COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD:
James gives us a little perspective on Minnesota’s undefeated baseball season.