It took more hard work from the deadline acquisitions, more top-gear performances from the youngsters on the squad, and a bit more injury than anyone would have liked to see, but Minnesota pulled away with a 7-3 victory here on Saturday night.
The Twins began their damage in the third; after putting together a first-inning threat to no avail, a Sandy Leon leadoff walk and subsequent Luis Arraez double doled out the dishware, and set the table for RBIs from both Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco -- 2-0 Twins.
Our foes to the north wasted no time in striking back. Teoscar Hernandez doubled to begin the fourth, and shortly thereafter a ball was deposited into the bleachers by Bo Bichette.
The rest of the fourth was a bit rickety, but starter Dylan Bundy kept the hurt to a pair of runs. Minnesota would go on to strand a leadoff Jose Miranda double in their half of the fourth-inning contributions.
Rocco had seen enough of Bundy, and pulled Trevor Megill out of his Magical Arm Barn. Slippin' Trevor turned in a 1-2-3 frame, aided by some sweet defense, and putting the pressure back on Mitch White to keep things tied.
Mr. White's night would end in the fifth. Arraez doubled again and was standing at third with two outs, at which point Toronto dispatched relief arm Tim Mayza, who made the controversial decision to allow Polanco to drive in another run with a double into the corner.
The Twins would turn to a Michael Fulmer/Caleb Thielbar combination to get all three outs in the sixth. Then, Jose Miranda. (Yes, that's the whole sentence. We’re not made of money here at Twinkie Town — there are only so many words we can afford per post.) His 11th homer of the season made it 4-2.
Then, a squeeze play turned sour; Nick Gordon, on third after a single, stolen base, and groundout, charged home after Leon dropped one down. Mayza overran the ball, then collided awkwardly with Gordon and fell to the ground in front of home. The word out of the Jays clubhouse is dislocated right shoulder, on a rather unfortunate play.
Minnesota had a 5-2 lead now, with the chance to make it more later in the inning with two runners on, but Buxton fanned to bring the game into the final third, with the Twins still up by three.
The seventh was the first full scoreless inning since the second, and both teams said, enough of that noise. Toronto tagged Griffin Jax for a few runners on in the eighth, but only Vladimir Guerrero Jr. scored, homeward bound on a Bo Bichette single off Jhoan Duran, who came in to limit the damage.
In the home eighth, Nick Gordon drew a full-count walk, and Rake Cave welcomed himself back to Twins Territory — the Caveman tripled into the right-field corner, later scoring on yet another hit from Arraez.
With the lead now 7-3, it was Jorge Lopez who was asked to get the ninth, in what will be his final appearance of the series unless everyone else’s arms literally fall off of their bodies and blow away in the wind. He struck out two, and sealed the deal on the dub.
Taking three out of four from a playoff-position team like Toronto is no easy task — tomorrow, the Twins will have the opportunity to do just that. Hope to see you there, and thanks for joining us tonight!
1B Luis Arraez (3-for-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 2B)
2B Jorge Polanco (2-for-5, 2B, 2 R)
3B Jose Miranda (2-for-4, R, RBI, HR)
CF Nick Gordon (2-for-3, 2 R, BB)
That bullpen tho (5 IP, a W, 4 holds, and a 2-K ninth)
Not in this country
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