Was the Twins’ offense still fairly impotent? Unfortunately.
Was Minnesota’s pitching still strong? Definitely.
Was Chicago’s defense still incompetent? Very much fortunately.
Was it fun to watch Ryan Jeffers motoring around the bases? One hundred percent.
Jeffers twice advanced three bases on one ball in play, both times contributing to Twins runs, and both times reminding everyone how much fun it is to watch players not blessed with elite speed still giving it their all on the bases.
Leading off the fourth, Jeffers lofted a fly to Gavin Sheets out in right; Sheets tripped over his own feet trying to get under the ball, and Jeffers hustled all the way to third for a triple. After Trevor Larnach fouled out, Kyle Farmer took a Lucas Giolito fastball to the face, stopping play for a few minutes and unfortunately forcing him from the game. Eddie Julien (per the broadcast, he has said it’s OK for media and fans to call him Eddie) followed with a walk before Michael A. Taylor grounded to first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who stepped on first but fumbled the ball before he could throw home to try and catch Jeffers crossing the plate.
Four innings later, after Jeffers led off with a single and Larnach struck out, Willi Castro doubled into the gap in right-center; Jeffers, off on contact, beat the throw home by an instant. The Twins added an insurance run when Castro moved to third on Matt Wallner’s flyout and scored on Taylor’s single, but that run didn’t involve a slower guy at a dead run, so that wasn’t as fun.
On the mound, Sonny Gray allowed just three hits over five innings, and Jorge Alcala, Jorge López, and Griffin Jax each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Jhoan Duran did not pitch a scoreless inning, allowing a two-out solo shot to Lenyn Sosa, but got Seby Zavala to ground out on the next pitch to end the game.
(On the injury front, Farmer is reported to have suffered a jaw injury, while Byron Buxton also left the game after a baserunning collision with Sosa.)
SP Sonny Gray: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
Donovan Solano, Ryan Jeffers, Willi Castro, Michael A. Taylor: 2 hits apiece
Comment of the Game goes to Brandon Brooks for reminding us of the literary glory that is “Danny Santana Takes a Walk.”