After a great tribute and celebration of Ron Gardenhire’s time with the Minnesota Twins and his enshrinement into the Twins Hall of Fame, the Twins and Texas Rangers played the second game of the series. Minnesota was looking to make it a five-game winning streak for the first time since May. Texas was looking to just do something positive after firing their manager and president of baseball ops earlier in the week.
The scoring started early tonight, and it was not scored by the local nine. Chris Archer started for the Twins tonight and promptly allowed a lead-off double very high off the left-field wall to Marcus Semien. After advancing to third on a groundout, Semien scored on a double by Adolis Garcia, giving the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.
Archer settled down after that bumpy first inning; he faced the minimum in back-to-back innings. He faced some traffic in the fourth, including a single to Nathanial Lowe and a walk to Brad Miller, but got out of the inning unscathed. Archer made it through five innings tonight! That’s right!! After a Carlos Correa throwing error with two outs in the fifth, skipper Rocco Baldelli came out and talked to Archer, who said he was good, and got Corey Seager to fly out on the first pitch to get out of the inning. Archer’s line was 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 77 pitches. I’ll take it.
The Twins bats were stymied by sketchy-named Glenn Otto. He navigated through the Minnnesota lineup, allowing only three hits, three walks, and one unearned run in 5.2 innings of work. The unearned run came on a throwing error also by the shortstop, this one with the last name of Seager, which allowed the hustling Jake Cave to reach base. A Gary Sanchez walk allowed Luis Arraez (Gardy said on the radio broadcast that he loves Arraez - “good player”, “always plays with a smile”) to single in Cave from second base and tie the baby up. Unfortunately, Correa and Byron Buxton do not play with a smile and did not get any RBIs in the inning.
Devin Smeltzer, fresh from Triple-A St Paul, came on in relief of Archer in the sixth inning. Three singles - one each by Lowe (deflected by Smeltzer into center), Leody Tavaras, and Ezequiel Duran (off of Correa) - allowed the Rangers to plate one more run and untie the baby with a score of 2-1. The southpaw allowed only two more hits and went three innings, striking out one batter and walking none.
It seemed like the Twins offense was going to stand pat the rest of the game. Brett Martin and Brock Burke continued to hold back the Minnesota lineup, yielding only one hit across four outs. Matt Moore came on for the eighth and got two outs before issuing a walk to Max Kepler. Hot hitter Jose Miranda battled his way through a terrible strike call on a fastball 75 feet above the zone to a full count and lined a single to center field. With Kepler running with two outs, he came around to score and the baby was tied up once again.
Jorge Lopez was summoned and faced the minimum in the ninth after hitting a batter, but induced a double play from Semien to work around it. Sanchez tried to brew something up in the home half of the inning by hitting a single, but Arraez had other thoughts and grounded into a double play. That meant one thing: MANFREDBALL.
Enter Caleb Thielbar for the tenth. Seager knocked a single to right field, which brought in the ghost of Semien to untie the baby. Another single and an out later, and Meat Raffle got the hook in favor of Griffin Jax. He allowed another RBI single, this one to Mark Mathias, pushing the lead to a score of 4-2 in favor of the visitors before getting out of the inning via a strikeout and a ground-out.
Jonathan Hernandez took the mound for the Rangers in the bottom of the ninth and continued his assignment into the tenth. With Arraez on second base to start the inning, Correa drew a four-pitch walk. After a Buxton strikeout on three pitches, Jorge Polanco moved the up runners on a groundout, and Kepler reached on an error and brough Arraez in. However, Miranda flew out to end the chance of a walk-off.
Minnesota snaps its four-game winning streak and the Rangers grab a rare one-run win. The Chicago White Sox lead the Cleveland Spiders 2-0 late in their contest, so the Twins will stand pat at this point, remaining one game behind Cleveland in the standings. They also have lost seven straight games in which Archer has started.
The Twins and Rangers face off again tomorrow for game three of this four-game wrap-around series. It’s scheduled to be a 110p Central first pitch, but Dan Gladden and Cesar Tovar will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame tomorrow with ceremonies starting at 1p. Lucious hair guy Joe Ryan (3.92 ERA) gets the nod for Minnesota while Kohei Arihara (4.76 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.
Rangers 4, Twins 3 (10 inn.)
W: Jonathan Hernandez (1-0)
L: Caleb Thielbar (2-2)
- Chris Archer: 5 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 5 K
- the offense, all of it: 1-for-10 with RISP, leaving 10 on base as a team
COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD
The former goose artist gives us some nostalgia about the best Gardy moment in their opinion, and it leads to a great running TT joke.
Thank you to those that joined in on the game thread tonight! And for those that lurked and didn’t comment: We see you!!! (And join in next time!)