In June of 2022, Minnesota Twins reliever Emilio Pagan almost single-handedly let the Cleveland Guardians back into the AL Central race. On June 11 of 2023, Pagan once again stole any momentum the Twins had grasped of late.
This one looked good for the Twins in the early goings, what with RBI knocks from Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, & Royce Lewis before Toronto Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman could even record an out—a 4-0 visitors advantage. The Twins sent Gausman to the showers with two more runs—Donovan Solano dong & Lewis single—in the top of the fifth to go up 6-1.
But then, the Twins started getting sloppy and the Jays started getting lucky.
In the bottom of the 5th, Toronto kept putting balls in play (albeit few past the infield dirt) and combined with a Carlos Correa throwing error it led to a run. It also allowed Matt Chapman a chance to bat when the Twins should have been in the dugout, and he deposited a Louie Varland offering over the left-center field wall. Twins lead down to 6-4.
In both the top of the 6th and top of the 7th innings, the Twins left runners on base (surprise, surprise) that could have “changed the number”. With Jhoan Duran overextended from Friday night & Jorge Lopez struggling mightily, this brought Pagan into the contest in the bottom of the 8th nursing a two-run lead.
The results were about what you’d expect:
- Sharp single
- Sharp single
- Mammoth 3-run home run from Cavan Biggio
Despite getting a runner to second base with one out in the top of the 9th, a Correa ground out led to Larnach being called out on strikes to seal the defeat.
Once again, given the opportunity to truly seize some momentum in this 2023 season, your Minnesota Twins blow it and come up short.
The final: Blue Jays 7, Twins 6.
- Royce Lewis: 3-4, 2 RBI
- Jovani Moran & Griffin Jax: 2.1 IP, 0 ER despite the wobbly defense behind them
- Both home plate umpires—each getting drilled by a foul ball and each having an inconsistent strike zone + a ticky-tack pitch clock violation called on Kirilloff to end a two-out rally.
- Derek Falvey & Thad Levine for continuing to employee Emilio Pagan.
- Rocco Baldelli for continuing to call on Emilio Pagan.
- Emilio Pagan for continuing to be Emilio Pagan.
Comment of the Game:
With everyone else content on the early lead, falcontimmy saw the writing on the wall.