This one was kind of a snoozer, if we’re being honest. On the bright side, it was the best kind of snoozer: a Twins win that was never in doubt from the first inning on.
The Twins ambushed aging legend Zack Greinke in the first inning, opening the game with back-to-back singles. Jose Miranda followed up with the rare RBI (grounded into) double (play), and the bases were clear with two outs. However, this totally-not-injured Twins lineup is SO deep, and the line kept moving with a walk to Gio Urshela and a single by our favorite son Nick Gordon. Gary (who might be getting hot?) followed this up with a clutch double to score both baserunners and give the Twins a 3-0 lead. Gilberto Celestino and Jake Cave would both reach base before Grienke wiggled out of the jam.
Following the first, neither team even recorded two baserunners in an inning until the 5th, when a Miranda walk and Urshela HBP gave the Twins two one-out runners who would not end up advancing. The first two-HIT inning by either team after the first was the bottom of the 7th, when the Twins scored their 4th run on an Urshela sac fly following a Kyle Garlick single and Correa double. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t watching the game while this went on, but somehow pinch-runner Billy Hamilton, a fastest-man-in-baseball contender, failed to score from first on Correa’s double- I assume there must have been extenuating circumstances in play? It’s neither here nor there thanks to Urshela’s sac fly, but a box score curiosity, nonetheless.
The Royals would never have more than 1 runner on base at a time, thanks to a brilliant Sonny Gray. Gray went an efficient 7 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8 on 91 pitches. Following Joe Ryan’s 7 no-hit frames last night, the Twins may have just had their best (and longest) consecutive starts of the year. I encourage you to fact-check that and hit me with a “Well, actually.....” in the comments (or confirm it). Caleb Thielbar pitched a 1-hit 8th, and Jorge Lopez pitched a 1-hit 9th(!!) with no walks(!!!!!) and the shutout was complete.
One thing to keep an eye on is the early exit of Luis Arraez, who is rumored to have been dealing with a minor hamstring issue. As if the Twins aren’t injured enough right now.
Sonny Gray: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 8 K
Thielbar & Lopez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 2 K
Strangely, no “stud-ly” batting performances tonight. I guess that’ll happen when 2 of 4 runs happen on plays when outs are made.
Game thread was pretty light on activity tonight. Honorable mentions to all those who did activitate: James Fillmore, Imakesandwichesforaliving, SooFoo Fan, Uncle Lincoln, gintzer, Minnesota1952, falcontimmy, Wannabe525, and zkonedog.