Byron Buxton didn’t one-hit the Colorado Rockies, but he has proven time and time again that the team is simply different when he is in the game.
He reminded a national audience early — after Luis Arraez (current leader in the American League batting championship) doubled into left field to open the first. Buxton roped a liner into the gap; it would chase all the way to the wall, and provide the star center fielder with his first triple of the season.
Needless to say, it fired him up after persistent knee issues forced him onto the bench for the last few days.
Let’s continue with the offensive side of the recap (no, not like that.) Minnesota doubled the score in the second. Working around a few baserunners and ultimately plating Gary Sanchez on a single from Luis Arraez, who is contractually obligated to start each game 2-for-2.
A two-run fifth and another two-run seventh would round out the home scoring; Kyle Garlick and Alex Kirilloff knocked in a run each in the fifth; Kirilloff went back to the well for a two-run double two innings later.
All right, time to talk about the man of the hour: Chris “Jharel ““Griffin “““Tyler Thornburg””” Jax”” Cotton” Archer. After bemoaning the inconsistency of Twins pitching within the last few weeks — particularly the failings of the bullpen in the Cleveland series — tonight’s hurlers elected to set the record straight, and one-hit the Colorado Rockies.
Chris Archer led the way with five solid innings, limiting hard contact, striking out five, and surrendering the only visiting hit to former Twin C.J. Cron. Jharel Cotton and Tyler Thornburg each walked a pair, but didn’t surrender a hit; the most impressive relief performance belonged to Griffin Jax, who struck out the side on 12 pitches in his lone inning of work.
After Thornburg breezed through the ninth inning, Minnesota had locked up the win. The series with Colorado is even at a game apiece, and the Twonkers will have a chance to win it tomorrow afternoon, before re-calibrating for another dance with the Guardians.
With Cleveland’s loss tonight, Minnesota has sole possession of the Central again.
See you tomorrow!
The national broadcast referring to our previous ballpark as the Hump Dome
2B Luis Arraez (2-for-5, R, RBI, 2B)
RF Max Kepler (0-for-1, 2 R, 3 BB)
DH Kyle Garlick (2-for-4, R, RBI)
1B Alex Kirilloff (1-for-3, 3 RBI, 2B)
Twins Pitching (9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 10 K)
Not in my house
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
Comment of the gamethread goes to Matt Monitto’s “I accidentally pitched to Pierzynski once” anecdote.