Old acquaintance Lance Lynn came into the game giving up 2.0 homers per 9 innings, and managed to increase that number tonight, with a struggling Buxton providing two of them. And somehow the Twins only struck out six times, which is inconceivable! Inning-by-inning notes:
1: If you’re going to give up a leadoff homer, do it on the first pitch! Joe Ryan does, with Andrew Benintendi’s polite assistance.
Edouard Julien almost hits a home run, stops to admire it, and would be TOOTBLAN except that Elvis Andrus drops the throw. This proves costly when Alex Kirilloff dongs. The formerly good-fielding Andrus bobbles a Max Kepler grounder, too, which proves costly when Byron Buxton dongs. Also costly was a Matt Wallner walk in there, too.
If you understand grade-school story problems, you’ll know that the score is Twins 5-1
2: Radio says that both Willi Castro and Joey Gallo were late scratches because of pinkeye. Among the causes of pinkeye are chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes. To hell with “among” the causes — we know these are the causes. All three at once. Guys... wash your hands.
3: Utterly nothing happens, so did you read this story from last week? Well-known indie rockbands were performing at Target Field last weekend, and one of them was The Killers (who’re perfectly fine. I don’t know their songs much, the ones I’ve heard are fine... and I do like this song). Anyways, some guy in the audience had a sign asking to play drums on his birthday, so the band let him play drums on one song! It seems like the band does this a lot. Hopefully their insurance covers it if somebody gets electrocuted by a falling stage light or something.
4: Chicago makes some noise, with the help of Matt Wallner, Professional Outfielder, but Ryan is able to sneak out of it. Lynn had been getting out of things, but MORE DONGS!!! Buxton’s second of the night, and Ryan Jeffers’s fifth of the season. Mr. Lynn came into the game leading MLB in HRs allowed. I’m assuming he still will be after tonight. Twins 7-1
5: Andrus does hit a double, and eventually scores. So White Sox fans no longer have to hate him. Except that Chicago sports fans basically love to hate everyone. The last time I was in Chicago, I was at this quiet bar by our hotel... quiet, that is, except for the one guy screaming BLOODY MURDER at the bar television. I understand playoff hockey can be intense, and I’ve screamed at the TV during a Wild game... AT A SPORTS BAR. With lots of other SPORTS FANS. If you’re doing it by yourself, it’s unnerving to others.
And yes, people I’ve known from Chicago tell me this sort of thing is completely normal there. Anger gets the fans a run, Twins 7-2
6: The anger must still be working, because after striking out Jake Burger for the third time (he’s Chicago’s better version of Joey Gallo), Ryan gives up a two-run dong. Are we in Colorado? No — there’d be scenery. We might even see Lynn pitch another inning, as he’s only at 80 total. Ryan is certainly done at 104. Time for Rocco’s Mathmagical Arm Barn! Twins still 7-4
7: Now entering, His Dark Materials, Emilio Enrique Pagán, who may now be cursed (more than we pagans already are). He goes lineout, rocket single, walk, and this brings up the Sox’s best hitter, Luis Robert Jr. Robert smokes one towards the gap in right, which Kepler barely manages to nab. Eloy Jiménez grounds out to end the inning. So, lucky escape, but we’ll take it.
Lynn does persist, and Things Happen. Right fielder and Danish hotdog condiment Zach Remillard makes an error, Julien makes a walk, and Kirilloff makes them both scoring people with a double. Bryan Shaw finishes pitching the inning, only of note because he played with Cleveland for years and years and I never noticed before that his parents spelled his name wrong. Twins 9-4
8: Hah — Burger loses his grip on the bat and it gets lodged in the safety netting. A fan tries to grab it and does, but Sox 3B coach Eddie Rodriguez (who’s 64) grabs the other end and wrestles it away. Gladden says the fan will likely get an autographed bat instead, which is good for the fan. Maybe the Sox should have let the fan have that one, because Burger strikes out for the fourth time.
9: Who gets the mop? Um, Jovani Moran stays in after pitching last inning. Is that really wise to burn your only lefty for two days? Anyhoo, no duds Twims wim!
Studs: Buxton, Kirilloff, Kepler catching that Robert ball, Lynn giving back to his old team, Burger for the funny name and golden sombrero
Standings: CLE 2.0 GB, DET 6.0, CHW 10.0
Light gamethread tonight... because it’s a nice summer Friday night and the Twins are mediocre, or are all the TTers watching the World Cup? Probably not, but the US women’s team has a lot in common with the Minnesota Lynx, in that, unlike their male counterparts, they can actually win.
Tune in tomorrow at 6:15 for Dylan Cease against Sonny Gray.