The Twins took a second straight from the South Siders today on the back of a strong performance by the middle of the order and a respectable showing by the bullpen.
After falling into an 0-2 hole in the top of the second following three singles and a sac fly by the Sox, the home team answered back immediately with their own barrage. A Jose Miranda single was followed by a Gio Urshela double was followed by a Jake Cave RBI single was followed by a Matt Wallner RBI double, and all of the sudden it was 3-2 Twins.
Josh Winder was able to run with this lead for a little while, ceding one more run in the fifth on a single, an HBP, and another single. Winder did a good job today avoiding big hits and “the big inning”. He only gave up one extra base hit and no walks (besides the HBP).
The middle of the order struck again in the bottom of the 4th, giving the Twins two more runs. Urshela led off with a single, Jake Cave doubled, and Matt Wallner brought in a run on an infield single (!!!). Ryan Jeffers joined the party (kind of) by knocking in another run on a GIDP.
Caleb Thielbar did his thing and got four batters out in a row (the third out of the 5th, and all three of the 6th). The Twins responded by getting the run Winder gave up back. Once again, Urshela, Cave, and Wallner teamed up, loading the bases on a single, double, and intentional walk. The bottom of the order proceeded to nearly squander the opportunity, only managing to push one run across on a 3-2 walk by Gilberto Celestino.
Michael Fulmer, on in relief for the 7th, gave that run right back. Two singles, a fielder’s choice, and another single gave the Sox their fourth run. Following another HBP, the bases were loaded with one out and the Twins appeared to be Twins-ing once again. Thankfully, Eloy Jimenez (RIP) grounded into a nicely executed 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Twins, once again, struck back. Correa led off with a walk and Jose Miranda brought him around on a double. Jovani Moran put down all three Chicago hitters he faced. In the bottom of the inning, baserunning speed manufactured a run for the Twins, which is not something that I have ever written this year. Ryan Jeffers walked on four pitches (lol White Sox), and Billy Hamilton entered as a pinch runner. Hamilton stole second and then scored on a Luis Arraez single.
Now 8-4 Twins, Jorge Lopez entered and pitched an easy 1-2-3 9th. How about that!
The Twins moved into a tie with the White Sox for second place in the division with tonight’s win, and will win the season series against the highly-touted “contenders” if they take 1 of their 4 remaining matchups. They do also hold the tie-breaker over the Sux at this time, so that poverty franchise is back in third place where they belong.
Batting Title Watch
Arraez: 2-5, improves to .31332
Judge: 1-4, falls to .31340 (his one hit was his 61st home run, congratulations I guess)
Basically, whoever gets more hits over the rest of the season wins (assuming similar playing time).
Jose Miranda: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 2B, 1 K
Gio Urshela: 3-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Jake Cave: 3-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 2B, 1 BB
Matt Wallner: 2-3, 3 RBI, 1 2B, 1 IBB, 1 K
The ‘Pen: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 K, 0 BB (All hits and the run were on Fulmer’s watch)
Zero duds, the Twins have won
Gintzer commented the entire lyrics of “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. He wins.
p.s. next time the Twins lose in extra innings, I will be referring to the ghost runner as Manfred Mann.