One of these days the offense and bullpen will grant Pablo López a win on his record.
A thrilling walk-off win will have to suffice.
And Alex Kirilloff delivered it, singling in SAR* Max Kepler in the 11th to light up the stadium and put Minnesota back in the win column.
The Twins put up two runs and five hits in the first three innings but only tallied two singles during the rest of regulation, while the Padres rallied from the seventh onward and summoned the specter of Rob Manfred over the hallowed hall of Target Field.
Those two runs and five hits were indicators of what could have been a high-octane offensive day. Kepler sent one into the second deck in right in the first, then started a two-out rally with a double two innings later; Carlos Correa doubled him in, then came around third on a Kirilloff single but was thrown out at home by Fernando Tatis Jr.
With Jorge “Not Pablo” López on the mound in the eighth, though, San Diego bats woke up. Two singles and a walk filled the bags, and Manny Machado’s fly to deep right was more than far enough to bring the tying run across the plate.
The Padres at last took the lead in Manfredball, Rougned Odor advancing from second to third on a fly ball Joey Gallo scooped off the turf and scoring on an Austin Nola suicide squeeze.
But Donovan Solano, hitting for Gallo to lead off the bottom of the Manframe, said “not so fast” and singled home Willi Castro, then moved to second on a ball to the backstop. Unfortunately, Josh Hader proceeded to K Christian Vázquez (after fouling off two bunts), Nick Gordon, and Kepler to waste Solano.
Griffin Jax came out for his second straight day of mound duty, and after two quick outs, loaded the bases on two walks (Soto intentional, Xander Bogaerts accidental); three pitches later, the Twins were in the dugout as Matt Carpenter took a backwards K.
Three more pitches later, the Twins were charging out of the dugout, celebrating Kirilloff’s walk-off single down the line.
SP Pablo López: 6.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (earned), 4 BB, 8 K
1B-LF Alex Kirilloff: 2-4, walk-off RBI single, unassisted double play at 1B
RP Jhoan Duran: 2 IP, 0 H, 1 R (unearned, Manfred Man), 0 BB, 1 K
RF Max Kepler: 2-5, HR, 3 R (including the winner)
RP Griffin Jax: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R 2 BB, 1 clutch K
RP Brock Stewart: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
pace of play: 11 innings, 2:51 game time
are you kidding
Comment of the Game goes to gintzer for actually telling me what’s new in Minnesota.
* as always: “Standard Automatic Runner” if you’re Manfred, “Stupid-Ass Rule” if you aren’t