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Rangers 2, Twins 1: It’s all slipping away

Could there be a more painful way to see the season circle the drain?

MLB: Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins
Nick Gordon getting thrown out on an ill-advised steal attempt of third base is a sad microcosm of the Twins’ play of late.
Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Mercifully, this four-game series against the Texas Rangers is over. It was a weekend series that just had to have a fourth stanza to complete the drip, drip, drip of the leaky faucet that is this Minnesota Twins season, leading to the steady erosion of this team’s confidence and fight.

Yes, metaphors have been mixed. But rules don’t matter anymore. All that remains is an inept offense, flailing away against a Rangers pitching staff that had the fourth-worst ERA in baseball entering play on Monday, even after allowing only four runs to the Twins in 28 innings from Friday through Sunday.

On Monday night, it started promisingly enough for the Twins. Sonny Gray was perfect through three innings with four strikeouts and looked sharp. But the Twins’ offense continued to struggle mightily with runners in scoring position, wasting a Carlos Correa (gift) triple in the first inning that was followed by a Byron Buxton walk and stolen base as Jose Miranda struck out and Max Kepler (inexplicably batting fifth in the order) grounded out to end the inning.

In the third inning, the Twins had runners at first and second with one out after a Correa walk and a Buxton single, but Miranda grounded out and Kepler flew out.

After Gray gave up a leadoff single to Marcus Semien in the fourth and a four-pitch walk to Corey Seager, Nathaniel Lowe lined a ball right at Miranda at first that turned into a ridiculous triple play. Miranda stepped on the first-base bag and reverse-pivoted to his left to see that Semien had not yet returned to second base, for some reason, and threw to Correa for the Twins’ second triple-play of the season.

The Twins kept the momentum after a Gio Urshela (gift) triple in the bottom of the frame, followed by a Nick Gordon double off the glove of third baseman Ezequiel Duran. But that was it after Tim Beckham struck out swinging, Gordon was caught stealing third, and Sandy Leon flew out to center.

The Rangers answered right back with an Adolis Garcia bomb to left-center, however, and the game was tied.

The Twins went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, including an insane called third strike against Byron Buxton to end the inning that led to an outburst of emotion from both the Twins’ superstar and their manager, although neither was ejected. (To be fair to home plate Malachi Moore, he called that way-too-far-outside pitch to right-handed batters a strike for the balance of the game. So, it was wrong for everyone, I guess.)

Texas took the lead for good in the top of the sixth after three singles in four batters, including a line drive center that glanced off the glove of a diving Buxton. In the top of the seventh, Jake Cave replaced Buxton in center field; Buck reportedly left due to an injured hip.

The Twins mustered just two singles and a walk over the final four innings, including a three-up, three-down whimper in the bottom of the ninth. And that was that.


  • Correa’s triple should have been ruled a single with a two-base error. Just because the fielder doesn’t touch the ball doesn’t mean it should automatically not be ruled an error; it was a complete whiff by Leody Taveras in center field.
  • The Twins’ offense is horrific to watch right now. Outside of a pair of rockets off of Duran’s glove at third base and a pair of gift triples, there wasn’t much hit hard by Twins batters.
  • It wasn’t the fault of the Twins’ two best players, however. Buxton and Correa combined to go 3-for-5 with two walks.
  • The Twins’ bullpen threw the ball well, for what it’s worth. Michael Fulmer, Griffin Jax, and Caleb Thielbar combined to throw three scoreless innings with three strikeouts, no walks, and just one hit.


  • Twins bullpen: 3 IP, 0 R, H, 3 K, 0 BB
  • Carlos Correa: 2-for-3, BB, 3B


  • Jose Miranda: 0-for-4, 2 K, 5 runners left on base
  • Max Kepler: 1-for-4, K, 5 runners left on base