September 29, 2017

Hungover Twins lose finale to Cleveland

After the Twins clinched the second wild card spot in the American League Wednesday night, the party started in the visitor’s locker room at Progressive Field in Cleveland. But the party didn’t stop there, according to ESPN.com news services.

The party moved outside Progressive Field, so it wasn’t surprising that a few Minnesota players, some wearing sunglasses and dragging along, wandered in as late as 11:20 a.m. for the 12:10 p.m. start.

Manager Paul Molitor also rested Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton, Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario on Thursday, resulting in a 5-2 loss to the Tribe. Those who did appear in the Twins’ lineup on Thursday probably weren’t in the best of shape, which explains why Tribe starter Carlos Correa struck out 14 in eight-plus innings. Correa has quietly put together a great season. His win on Thursday improved his record to 18-6 with a 3.29 ERA.

Twins starter Ervin Santana pitched five innings of shutout baseball, then was lifted after 57 pitches in favor of the bullpen. Santana is expected to start the one-game playoff.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox both lost Thursday, so the Yanks remain three games behind their arch-rivals with three games to play.

Kyle Gibson gets the ball Friday versus Detroit.

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.