It wasn’t Kenta Maeda’s best outing, but with the bullpen gassed after a short start and extra inning game yesterday, he was able to gut his way through five innings. Things got off to the usual start for this series, with the Rangers taking an early 3-0 lead on a first inning homer from former Twin and current Twin-killer Mitch Garver. Maeda didn’t give up any runs the rest of the way, but he gave up at least two baserunners in each of the first three innings and one in every inning he pitched.
Continuing with this series’ script, Jon Gray was sailing through four innings before he ran into some serious trouble in the fifth inning. With two runners on, Royce Lewis came up clutch once again with a huge three-run shot to tie up the game. The Twins were able to load the bases in the inning after Lewis’ homer, but a strikeout from Christian Vazquez ended the threat.
With the relievers spent from a couple close games, the Twins were left with the Bullpen B-Squad today. First up was Cole Sands who got two quick outs, but then loaded the bases with two outs. A wild pitch behind Adolis Garcia allowed a run to come in before Sands struck him out to end the threat.
In the top half of the next inning, the Twins immediately responded with three straight singles from Lewis, Max Kepler, and Carlos Correa to tie the game. Unfortunately, the threat ended there with Wallner, Stevenson, and Vazquez all weakly hitting into outs.
The Rangers once again took the lead on Garver’s second homer of the game, giving him four in seven games against his old team. The back-and-forth game kept going with the Twins bringing a run in on another clutch hit from Royce Lewis. Max Kepler followed with a walk to load the bases for Carlos Correa, who promptly hit into his league-leading and Twins-record 29th double play. On what was overall a great game from Correa, he failed to come through in the biggest moment.
Josh Winder came in to pitch the bottom of the 9th with the Twins likely wanting to save their best arms for the Cleveland series, but gave up a walk-off homer to Adolis Garcia, the first batter he faced It wasn’t a terrible pitch from Winder, but Garcia was clearly sitting on his fastball, just missing the couple before the homer. Either way, Garcia walked it off to salvage a game in this series for Texas.
Royce Lewis: 3-5, HR, 4 RBI, SB
Carlos Correa, technically: 3-5, RBI
Christian Vazquez: 0-5, 2 K, 8 LOB
Carlos Correa, again: Twins record 29th GIDP to kill another bases-loaded rally
Me: I haven’t covered a Twins win since May! Zach, come back so the Twins can win again.
COTG goes to davethekid. Short, sweet, accurate. What else can I ask for as an editor?
Taking two out of three from the Rangers is a great turnaround after the letdown of the Cleveland series. It was a gutsy performance where they repeatedly battled back. They play three with the Guardians again tomorrow which could ultimately decide the Twins’ fate. Win the series and the Guardians probably don’t have enough time to come back, lose it and they can cling to hope for a little while longer.
ahem go Rays!