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Twins 2, Brewers 0: A good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel

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Corbin Burnes, Jose Berrios, and a few relievers put on a pitching clinic in Milwaukee.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wow! That was fun.

In one of the more dominant performances in recent Twins pitching history, Minnesota was able to hold the Milwaukee Brewers to three baserunners and just one lonely hit, all while coming within spitting distance of a franchise record, and racking up a combined 17 strikeouts.

It was something of an inexplicable start. Both Corbin Burnes and Jose Berrios were perfect through four innings, and both went on to hit a batsman in an otherwise perfect fifth. Burnes was exactly as advertised, serving high-90’s with sharp movement and making the Twin lineup relatively helpless.

Berrios was every bit as good, and a little bit better — he was pulled ahead of the seventh, having thrown six no-hit innings and clocking 12 punchouts. He’ll enter the home opener at Target Field with a pristine WHIP and only a Keston Hiura HBP against his record.

It wasn’t until the seventh when Burnes (6.1 IP, 11 K) was finally bested. Byron Buxton drove one into deep-right center for a solo shot, his second circuit drive of the year, and an early stop on his MVP World Revenge Tour.

It’s not often you’ll see dueling no-hitters through six — in fact, it’s the first time a game this dually dominant has ever happened.

Buxton’s blast was one of four total hits for the Twins, who added insurance in the eighth; Nelson Cruz extended the inning on a pinch-hit single, then saw Andrelton Simmons score ahead of him on an RBI knock for Luis Arraez.

Ultimately, Milwaukee would break up the no-hitter; Taylor Rogers struck out the side after Berrios was pulled, but Tyler Duffey put the tying runs on base when Omar Narvaez singled sharply to right in the eighth. The impact was slight; he struck out Daniel Vogelbach and got Billy McKinney to fly out to end the threat.

Things got a little bizarre in the ninth; with two outs, a foul ball ricocheted off the upper thigh of Ryan Jeffers, only to drill home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor in the throat; after being examined by a team trainer, he was cleared to stay in the game, only to look on in surprise as the team trainer suddenly collapsed.

Eventually he was helped back to the dugout — as was Christian Yelich, who fouled out to end the game.

It was an encouraging, series-evening win on multiple fronts; Alex Colome had a clean ninth after blowing a save on Thursday, Taylor Rogers is looking like his old self to start the year, and both Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton have gotten their 2021 seasons off to a very, very solid start.

STUDS:

SP Jose Berrios (6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K)

RPs Taylor Rogers / Tyler Duffey / Alex Colome (3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)

CF Byron Buxton (1-for-4, HR)

DUDS:

NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!

ROBOT ROLL CALL:

COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD:

CG19 graces us with the most memorable comment in Twins history.