clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Twins 20, Guardians 6: Floodgates open early as Twins extend division lead

Hope y’all enjoy watching position players pitch.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Guardians
Royce did it again.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Football season is underway, and the Twins and Guardians treated fans to a score better suited for Monday night gridiron action than the diamond.

The Minnesota Twins absolutely ambushed Lucas Giolito in his first start with the Cleveland Guardians. Jorge Polanco hit a home run in the second at-bat of the game, and after Giolito struck out both Donovan Solano and Matt Wallner to start the second inning, the floodgates opened for good as the Twins quickly plated five runs in the frame and another three in the third.

It all started with a phenomenal at-bat from Ryan Jeffers with two down in that second inning. With two outs, Jeffers fell behind in the count, 0-2. He fouled off the next three pitches and four total in the at-bat as he coaxed a 10-pitch walk to start the rally. The Twins then went single, walk, walk to score a run before Royce Lewis stepped to plate with the bases juiced. And we all know what that means.

Indeed, the man clobbered his third grand slam in the last eight games, victimizing Cleveland once again, and the Twins led 6-0 in the second inning.

Carlos Correa lead off the third inning with a home run to straightaway center, and then Wallner singled and Jeffers before Willi Castro came through with a sacrifice fly to make the scoreboard 9-0.

On the other side of the ledger, Twins starter Pablo Lopez scattered baserunners throughout the first three innings, including a single and triple in the third that made the score 9-1.

The score stayed the same into the sixth inning. Cleveland reliever Enyel De Los Santos came in for his second inning of work and imploded. Castro and Eddie Julien both walked and Polanco and Lewis singled, encouraging Guardians manager Terry Francona to put a position player on the mound — in the sixth inning. Correa and Wallner each singled in runs and the scoreboard was updated to 13-1 after the top of the sixth.

Lopez allowed Cleveland to load the bases again in the sixth but didn’t give up any runs, and his night was through.

Joey Gallo (!) and Kyle Farmer, who entered at shortstop to relieve Correa, each homered off of David Fry in the seventh and the score was 18-1.

Brent Headrick gave up a couple of runs in the seventh and eventually gave way to Dylan Floro in the eighth — only after a couple of hit batters and unnecessary warnings from the home plate umpire, because of course. The Twins scored a couple more runs off Fry in the ninth. (Fry, the position player, pitched four innings!)

With the score 20-3 in the ninth, Rocco Baldelli sent out Castro to try to get the final three outs. He did, eventually, but gave up three more runs to give us our lovely fall football final of 20-6.


  • What do we say about Royce Lewis? It’s insane. I mean the grand slams are crazy enough, but overall for the game he went 3-for-4 with 6 RBI.
  • It was great to see Correa swing the bat a little bit better. He’s been consistently batting fourth of late, even sliding down to the No. 5 hole at one point over the weekend. As arbitrary as tracking hitting by calendar months is, Correa has hit in all four games in September thus far and is now 8-for-18 and slashing .444/.444/.611 in the month. The home run is his only extra-base hit and he hasn’t walked at all, but he’s also only struck out once. Correa was piping hot last September ... what if he does it again?
  • I called out the Jeffers at-bat above, but he’s playing better over the last few games as well. That was probably the biggest at-bat early in the game that helped lead up to the Lewis slam.
  • The Twins scored 20 runs to the offense is the story, obviously, but let’s not lose sight of Lopez’s six innings of one-run ball. He wasn’t extremely sharp, scattering 11 baserunners (eight hits and three walks) and only striking out three batters, but he was effective and understood what the right approach was with the Twins up big.
  • Great to see Joey Gallo go for 2-for-2 with a bomb. Yes, it all came against a position player, but time’s running out for him to get on a heater and make the case for being on a postseason roster. Maybe this kick-starts him.


  • Royce Lewis: 3-for-4, GS, 6 RBI, 2 R
  • Jorge Polanco: 3-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 3 R
  • Carlos Correa: 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
  • Matt Wallner: 3-for-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Pablo Lopez: 6 IP, ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 3 K


  • None — Twins win! Twins win!