The Twins had a good start, but this time it was the middle of the game that did them in.
The offense got some early help thanks to a fielding error from Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe. Carlos Correa took immediate advantage with a two run dong to get things started.
C4 says C ya to a baseball. #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/XVuAeTVWyD— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 9, 2022
Minnesota would add one more run in the third thanks to a RBI single by Max Kepler, one of his three hits on the day.
On the other side of the inning, things were going pretty smoothly for Sonny Gray. Through four innings, Sonny had only thrown 46 pitches and looked to be putting together his next gem, in part due to some stellar defense by Byron Buxton.
Adding this to our UnBuckingbelievable entry in the dictionary. #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/YvLNwf4x4M— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 9, 2022
Sometimes Buck just has to step in and remind you that he’s still one of the best defenders in baseball. And then came the inning from hell.
In the fifth inning, seemingly out of nowhere, Sonny Gray lost complete command of his pitches. Lowe and Jonah Heim singled to start the inning, and Gray followed that up with a walk to Kole Calhoun. With the bases loaded and no outs, former Twins catcher Mitch Garver (who will be getting season ending shoulder surgery after this series) came to the plate. Sonny Gray threw two pitches well out of the strike zone, and then brushed Garver’s elbow with the third, bringing in Texas’ first run.
Still without any outs in the inning, Leody Taveras hit a sac fly to centerfield to bring the Rangers within one. Josh H. Smith (the Rangers have multiple Josh Smiths???) followed that with a RBI single to even the game. Sonny Gray was able to get Marcus Semien to pop out before finally being lifted.
With the lefty Corey Seager coming to the plate, and two runners still on base, Rocco opted for the platoon advantage and a fresh arm with Caleb Thielbar, a sound managerial choice. Naturally, Seager, the $325 million man, took Thielbar deep to give the Rangers a 6-3 lead.
5 is THAT guy pic.twitter.com/8uwTXuFi7t— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 9, 2022
Ryan Jeffers hit a two run shot in the 6th to bring Minnesota within a run, and the bullpen shut things down the rest of the way. Unfortunately, the damage was done. The Twins had plenty of opportunities to add runs in this game thanks to both their own hitting and some bad Texas fielding, but ultimately were unable to to complete the comeback.
- Ryan Jeffers: 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
- Nick Gordon, the greatest utility man ever: 2-3, 2 2B, R
- Me: on vacation, currently 3 drinks into the evening. You can’t hurt me, Twins.
- Sonny Gray in the 5th inning: 3H, BB, HBP, 5 runs