It may be too early to declare the Twins’ offense healed of all maladies, but it certainly appears to have turned some kind of corner.
On the heels of scoring 17 runs over the last two games against the Diamondbacks, the Twins jumped all over Joey Wentz and the Detroit Tigers on Monday night. Combined with a dominant performance from Pablo Lopez, this one was, quite literally, never in doubt.
Leadoff batter Donovan Solano knocked the first pitch of the contest for a double. After a Jorge Polanco strikeout, Carlos Correa pulled a single down the line to give the Twins a 1-0 lead and the visitors were off to the races. Max Kepler bounced an infield single to third base, and Ryan Jeffers clobbered a three-run bomb to left to put the Twins up by four in the top of the opening frame.
They didn’t slow down in the second, either. After batting around in the first, Solano lead off the next inning with a single. Polanco singled, and Correa poked an opposite-field home run over the right-field wall to expand the Twins’ lead to seven runs.
In the third, Willi Castro singled before Jordan Luplow managed his third hit in as many at-bats in a Twins uniform with an automatic double into the gap, causing Castro to stop at third base. Castro scored on a Michael A. Taylor groundout, and the Twins were up 8-0 in the third inning.
Meanwhile, Pablo Lopez scattered a few baserunners over the course of seven innings but never allowed multiple runners on the bases at the same time. He needed only 96 pitches to get through the seven frames, walking zero batters and striking out eight while allowing just five hits.
The Twins’ bats went dormant once they had pocketed their eight-run lead. In fact, they didn’t have a single baserunner in the 4th, 5th, or 6th innings. They eventually scored again in the eighth inning after Tigers reliever Alex Lange walked the bases full and then hit Max Kepler with a pitch, driving in the Twins’ ninth and final fun.
Chase Headrick scuffled a bit in his two innings of relief, allowing a double and a wild pitch in the eighth and then hitting a batter and giving up a single and a three-run homer in the ninth. But hey, any win in which you only need to use your mop-up reliever is a good win.
- The Twins have now scored 34 runs during their five-game winning streak, an average of 6.8 runs per game. Sure, it’s buoyed by the 12-run performance on Saturday against Arizona, but the Twins have scored five or more runs in four of the five wins.
- It was also great to see the Twins perform against a lefthanded starting pitcher. Yes, Wentz has had his share of struggles this season, but the Twins struggled a bit with him when they faced him in June. Not so much this time around.
- Jordan Luplow had a single and a double in his two cracks at Wentz. That’s exactly why the Twins brought him in — he’s essentially playing the role that Kyle Garlick held for much of the last couple of seasons.
- It’s worth mentioning again just how important it was for the Twins to give their bullpen another day off.
- Cleveland lost again, and the Twins now have a 5.5 game lead in the division.
- Donovan Solano: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, set the tone
- Ryan Jeffers: 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
- Carlos Correa: 2-for-3, 4 RBI, 2 R, HR
- Jordan Luplow: 3-for-5, 2B
- Pablo Lopez: 7 IP, 0 R, 8 K, 0 BB, 5 H
- None. Twins win! Twins win!