The offense hasn’t come out to play much this year, but when it has, the Twins are fun to watch. What started as a solid, cruising afternoon for Minnesota wound up a nail-biting win by the end.
Toronto took an early lead, scoring on a Bo Bichette bomb in the first inning, but Minnesota had quick answers today. They racked up three in the home first; Alex Kirilloff tied the game with an RBI groundout, and Matt Wallner waited back on a two-run single with two outs, two batters later.
The young lefties would continue to make their mark, with Edouard Julien driving an RBI double to center an inning later. But somehow, Bo Bichette returned. His next at-bat in the third was a deep two-run triple, both landing in and closing the gap, setting the scoreboard to 4-3 Twins.
Another noted son in the person of Cavan Biggio tied the game with another noted homer, in the top of the fourth.
The Twins jumped out ahead in the fifth on one of the most unlikely sequences I can ever remember seeing — back-to-back homers jumped off the bats of Willi Castro and Matt Wallner, and BOTH homers were - at one point in the play - within the glove of center fielder Daulton Varsho. Quite honestly, you have to see this one to believe it.
Now with a 7-4 lead, starter Pablo Lopez tossed another 0.2 innings and left the game after a two-out walk. The Twins had the lead, but Lopez had allowed four runs on five hits and plenty of solid contact around numerous extra-base hits. Against all odds, the lineup was able to pick him up (and on a day where he needed it.)
Willi Castro returned with a vengeance in the seventh, corking another homer to straightaway center field. For context, those were the 27th and 28th homers of Castro’s five-year career, so for him to earn two in the same afternoon is an impressive feat.
One more lefty prospect mashed to top it off — Julien added another extra-base hit, an opposite-field homer, to lock in the score at 9-4 in the 8th.
A nearly-perfect pen didn’t allow a run between Lopez’s and eventual reliever Jhoan Duran’s departure, but Jorge Lopez came in for the final inning and started serving up baserunners. Before long, the Jays had smashed a two-run homer past the overhang, and a hit batsman plus a single put the tying run in the box with nobody out.
From Rocco's Magical Arm Barn came Brock Stewart, who got his first man to fly out, then had to contend with red-hot Bo Bichette. Bichette dunked a single to center, and suddenly it was a two-run game.
Another flyout got Minnesota an out away from the win; Stewart Brandon Belt on the doorstep of three digits to finally lock down the victory.
2B Edouard Julien (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI)
3B Willi Castro (2-for-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI)
RF Matt Wallner (4-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, A)
RP Brock Stewart (IP, H, K, SV)
NO DUDS! TWINS WIN! TWINS WIN!
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
The series and homestand wrap up tomorrow. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and spending part of your Memorial Day weekend with the Twinkie Town crew.