It was “second verse, same as the first” until Byron Buxton told a baseball to get Buck’d in the eighth inning.
Unfortunately, the third verse WAS the same as the first; a day after Gary Sanchez came a few feet shy of a walk-off blast, the Twins dropped another game that it felt like — even if just for a moment — they were going to win.
It was again a tightly-contested April affair this afternoon, with Seattle coming out on top in yet another one-run game, the kind of skirmish that seems to have defined them since 2021. The M’s got in the board in the third with a Ty France double, a game-tying swing that evened the ledger after Luis Arraez’s seventh career blast gave the birthday boy an RBI in the first.
The tie was broken two innings later, when Tom Murphy launched one to a similar right-center location as Arraez; in his Twins debut, Gray was tagged for those two scores over 4.2 IP, striking out four and walking a pair over 76 pitches.
Meanwhile, Mariner pitching settled in neatly after Arraez’s early jolt. 16 straight batters were retired through the middle innings, a streak broken after reliever Andres Munoz walked Nick Gordon with six outs left on Minnesota’s side.
A few pitches later, Byron Buxton absolutely crushed a ball three decks deep out to left.
It was the most electric moment at Target Field so far in the infant season, providing the team with just their second lead of the year, and continuing their stretch of exclusively scoring on the patented bomba. With a 3-2 lead heading into the visiting ninth, Rocco tapped Tyler Duffey to lock down the save, continuing to cycle through a large arm barn of relievers who need to get in-game action.
Unfortunately, it was just not Duffey’s day.
It began with Julio Rodriguez smoking a double to lead off the ninth, earning his first hit at the big-league level. A groundout sent him to third, but when Tom Murphy went down swinging, it looked like the damage would be limited.
Adam Frazier had other ideas, roping a ball of his own into left, beating Nick Gordon’s throw into second from the outfield. It was an important advance; Ty France would single him in on the next batter, and before most fans had a chance to sit back down from the Buxton homer, Seattle had regained the lead.
Minnesota could not duplicate their opposition’s ninth-inning success. Diego Castillo was on to get the final three outs, and he did so easily, inducing two strikeouts in a quick, clean frame.
The series will NOT end tomorrow — these two teams have a wraparound game on the docket for Monday evening — so there’s still a chance for the home nine to even the series and come away from their first matchup with a .500 record.
CF Byron Buxton (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R)
3B Luis Arraez (1-for-4, HR, R)
SS Carlos Correa (0-3, 3 K, BB)
2B Jorge Polanco (0-4, 4 K)
RP Tyler Duffey (1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, K, L, BS)
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
Thanks to all who joined us this afternoon! Comment of the gamethread will be voted on by current and former Twinkie Town community members, and the results of the balloting will be unveiled at next year’s ceremony in February.