At some point, one runs out of words to say “the Twins lost again.” After 11 losses in 13 games, that point comes along quickly.
So: the Twins lost again.
The Pirates scored two runs in the top of the first on three hits and a sacrifice fly; the Twins got one run back on three hits of their own, but Alex Kirilloff lined into a double play to leave Minnesota still trailing.
Those three hits marked nearly half of the Twins’ offensive output, as five Pittsburgh hurlers kept Minnesota to seven hits on the day while the Pirates’ lineup tallied 12.
Although Matt Shoemaker left the game with the Twins still only trailing 2-1, once Minnesota’s bullpen took the mound, their opponents again started whaling on the ball. In the seventh inning, the first three Pittsburgh batters tallied hits off Cody Stashak, the third (a Kevin Newman RBI single) chasing Stashak and summoning Caleb Thielbar. Adam Frazier singled to bring in another run, and after Thielbar struck out Phillip Evans, Brian Reynolds lined a double into the left field corner, bringing the score to 5-1 and leading many Twins fans to assume the game was over.
Pessimism is no fun. Neither is losing.
The teams traded homers in the eighth — Gregory Polanco for the Pirates, Nelson Cruz for the Twins — and that was all.
- Luis Arraez: 2-3, R, BB
- Nelson Cruz: 1-4, HR
- Matt Shoemaker: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, BB, 2 K
- Twins bullpen (Cody Stashak, Caleb Thielbar, Jorge Alcala): 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 8 K (5 K by Alcala)
- Twins lineup with RISP: 1-6