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Twins 8, Cleveland 2: The team we expected is finally showing up

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Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Lets get the ugly part of this out of the way early. Cleveland right fielder Josh Naylor left the game in the fourth inning after the sort of injury you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Jorge Polanco’s excuse-me swing poked a ball in the air to shallow right field. Rookie second baseman Ernie Clement ran full-speed out to field the ball, while Naylor came in at full speed. The two collided hard, and Naylor went down in obvious pain. The video was absolutely gruesome, and honestly, his season is probably over. Even if Cleveland is a rival, it was the sort of thing you hate to see happen to any player.

JA Happ was effective for the Twins today, pitching six full innings and giving up only two earned runs while striking out seven. One of the runs came on a Rene Rivera home run, which is a phrase I don’t think I’ve typed since 2011.

The Twins, on the other hand, scored basically at-will against Sam Hentges. The six runs they put up in three-and-a-third innings against Cleveland’s starter included home runs by Andrelton Simmons and Josh Donaldson. Nelson Cruz added a bomba of his own against Phil Garza in the fourth, but at that point the mood had already been sombered, and it seemed like all the fight had left the Cleveland squad. Another pointless run was added against Phil Maton, but it didn’t matter for the outcome.

Studs:
JA Happ
Donaldson, Simmons, Cruz

Duds:
Freak injuries

Roll Call

COTG

JohnFoley explaining the Twins’ pitching decision