A day after Byron Buxton left the game on the first play of the afternoon, the same early-exit curse befell Sonny Gray, who tweaked a hamstring in the second inning, and had to watch from the clubhouse as the Boston Red Sox knocked off a 4-0 victory.
Despite barreling up their fair share of pitches, all while coaxing three walks out of home starter Tanner Houck, Minnesota was held off the scoreboard thanks in large part to three separate double plays turned by the Boston defense.
The team went 0-for-4 with RISP, leaving 6 on base through the balance of the game. The lone offensive bright spot was Trevor Larnach, who smoked three balls in four at-bats, including a double, and accounted for all but two of the team’s base knocks all day.
Meanwhile, a pair of runs in the second and third innings would be all Boston required. Moreover, they earned those scores thanks to the long ball; Alex Verdugo went deep off Sonny Gray in the second, and Xander Bogaerts took Josh Winder yard in the third; each homer featured a single accompanying baserunner.
To his credit, Winder was able to soak up the bulk of the innings after unexpectedly entering just five outs in. Despite hard contact throughout, the long ball to Bogaerts was the only real damage, and Winder did his best to give relevance to a Twins offensive attack that ultimately proved anemic.
The Twins had at least a man aboard in each inning from the fifth onward; but, as the final score demonstrates, ain’t nothin’ doin’.
Ultimately, it was another pitching performance that served to inspire some confidence in the 2022 staff as a whole. There are two sides to the baseball coin, though, and the Twins’ bats will need to get going on a more consistent basis, with just two statement performances — once yesterday, and once against the Mariners — to speak of.
For the second straight week, the Sunday afternoon game will NOT mark the conclusion of the series; we still have two games to go, with another wraparound outing on Monday morning. Hope to see you there!
LF Trevor Larnach (3-for-4, 2B)
Twins without hits (0-for-20, 9 K, 2 BB, CS)
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