June 3, 2018

22 runs in three games. Where has this been?

A week ago, the Twins were swept by the Seattle Mariners after they scored only five runs in three games. But against the Cleveland Indians a different team has emerged, one that can hit and score.

After three games against the Tribe, the Twins have scored 22 runs, including a 7-1 victory on Saturday. The Twins have won two of three games so far and will go for the series win on Sunday.

So, what’s changed? Well, Miguel Sano has returned to the lineup with two home runs and 10 RBI in his last six games. And the bottom of the order, which was do dreadful versus the Mariners, has picked it up of late. Robbie Grossman is hitting .333 in his last five games. Meanwhile, Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar remain hot. Rosario, who leads the team in nearly every offensive category, is hitting .429 over his last seven games, while Escobar has hit three home runs over the same period.

And while the offense has improved, starting pitching has remained consistent.

Lance Lynn, who started the year 1-4 with an ERA approaching 8.00, has won his last three starts, including on Saturday. Lynn went six innings and held the Tribe to one run with five strikeouts, although he still walked five batters and threw 113 pitches. Lynn is now 4-4 with a 5.46 ERA. After he stepped aside, the bullpen delivered three scoreless innings.

Kyle Gibson gets the ball Sunday. In his last start, Gibson pitched seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, but he didn’t figure in the decision because the Twins lost in 14 innings. Gibson has pitched six quality starts this season (six innings with three or fewer earned runs), but has only one win, according to MLB.com.

Extra innings…

-The Tribe’s Trevor Bauer fell to 4-4 on Saturday, but he still struck out 11 batters in five-plus innings and his ERA stands at 2.77. Not bad for a losing effort.

-After the series with the Tribe, the Twins stay home and welcome the Chicago White Sox for four games and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for three. If the Twins want to make a move in the division, this might be the time to do it.

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.