May 25, 2017

Backed by Berrios, Twins sweep Baltimore

Jose Berrios won his third straight start and the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.

Berrios wasn’t as dominant as his last start, but he still gave the Twins six-plus innings and struck out seven to win, 4-3. Perhaps even more important, Berrios, pitching to backup catcher Chris Gimenez, showed that he has the talent to work with anyone. He did get bit by the long ball, though, giving up three home runs to increase his ERA to a still-excellent 1.66 from an unbelievable 0.59.

The transformation of the Twins has been startling. After Wednesday’s win, the Twins improved to 25-18 and have a two game lead over the Cleveland Indians. The Twins, never really known as a strong road team, particularly in the days of the Metrodome, also improved to 14-5 during away games. The Twins and those dangerous Houston Astros have the best road records in the American League.

Extra innings…

-Berrios pitched well on Wednesday, but it was Ervin Santana who stole the show on Tuesday. Santana improved to 7-2 after he pitched a complete game two-hitter and shutout the Orioles, 2-0. How much better are the Twins this season? Santana’s seven wins already matches his total for 2016.

-After 43 games, the Twins are 25-18. This time last season, they were 11-32.

-Brandon Kintzler notched his 12th save 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.