August 3, 2016

Max Kepler homers again as Twins top Tribe

German-born rookie sensation Max Kepler hit his fourth home run in two days to help the Twins top the Cleveland Indians 10-6 on Tuesday. Also joining him in the power department was Brian Dozier, who hit his 20th of the season, making it three straight seasons of 20 or more home runs for the second baseman.

The Twins took an 8-0 lead on Tuesday and then watched as starter Kyle Gibson nearly gave it all back. He was cruising until the fourth inning when the Indians jumped on him for six runs. Gibson’s day was done at four-plus innings, but four relief pitchers shut down the Tribe the rest of the way to preserve the win.

That’s three straight wins for the Twins with a chance to match their longest winning streak of the season (four games) on Wednesday. The Twins’ seven wins over the Indians is the most against any club in the American League.

Extra innings…

-The Twins set a new team record with 19 extra-base hits in two days. They had 10 on Monday, followed by nine on Tuesday.

-Earlier in the year, when the Twins were really struggling, I suggested that hitting coach Tom Brunansky might be the fall guy for the team’s troubles and lose his job. Now, with the offense clicking the way it is, Bruno looks like an absolute hero. As a club, the Twins once ranked near the bottom of the AL in team batting, but since have climbed to ninth in that department. They also lead the AL in triples with 25. Brunansky, for those who don’t remember, played the outfield for the Twins for seven seasons during the 1980s, including the team’s first World Series in 1987. He hit 271 home runs in his career, 163 of them for the Twins.

-Starter Tyler Duffey, who had a rough July, appeared to be headed to the bullpen. Instead, Tommy Milone is headed to the bullpen and Duffey has won himself another start. He gets the ball on Wednesday.

 

 

 

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.