This one started with red-hot Max Kepler and ended with red-hot Jorge Polanco. In between, things were pretty cold.
The Twins were far from “on their game” today, as the team posted a whopping FOUR errors. However, the fielders weren’t all bad, as Brent Rooker and Andrelton Simmons combined to peg a runner at home that would’ve given Cleveland a 2-run lead. Likewise, Luis Arraez cleanly fielded a ground ball and threw it across the diamond to prevent a Cleveland run from scoring in the 8th.
As mentioned before, the game started off with another lead-off home run by Max Kepler. If this game ended on time, I probably would’ve gone and figured out how many he’s had in recent games, but “a few” will have to suffice. Unfortunately, Cleveland answered right back in the top of the 2nd, as Bradley Zimmer sent one out of the park for two runs and the lead.
The game yo-yo’d back to the Twins after Piranha-ball scored one run in each of the 3rd and 4th innings, but then Cleveland tied it right back up in the top of the 5th. In the 6th, Austin Hedges and his .179 batting average doubled in a run to take back the lead, and it would’ve been two if not for Brent Rooker and Andrelton Simmons. The game would get tied up for the rest of regulation by a Ryan Jeffers rocket solo shot.
In extras, Caleb Meat Raffle Thielbar pitched a masterful tenth, giving the Twins a shot to score only the Manfred-runner to win the game. However, nothing has been easy this season. The Twins loaded the bases on a Nick Gordon single and an intentional walk of Max Kepler. Up came Rob Refsnyder - who had replaced Brent Rooker earlier - and then the second-worst case scenario. Literally, the second-worst thing that could reasonably happen. Refsnyder grounded into a double play- and not just any garden-variety double play, but a double-play that erased the runner at home and on the way to third. The Twins went from bases loaded, no outs to runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs with one swing of the bat. Never fear- Jorge Polanco, who has come up big for the Twins so often of late, promptly doubled on the first pitch he saw for his second walk-off RBI in as many games.
A big shout-out goes to the whole pitching staff today, as starter Griffin Jax pitched fairly well in spite of his fielding, and the entire bullpen was lights-out. Alex Colome even got his ERA under 4.00 for the first time since April!
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that Kenta Maeda pinch-ran for Josh Donaldson today.
Jorge Polanco- 2-6, 1 R, 1 Walk-Off RBI
Max Kepler- 1-3, 3 BB, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
Griffin Jax- 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 K’s
The ‘Pen (Gant, Minaya, Colome, Thielbar)- 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K’s, 0 R
NO DUDS SCORCHING HOT TWINS WIN!!!
ROBOT ROLL CALL