July 26, 2018

The sweep is complete! Now, about those Boston Red Sox…

I’ll confess: I wasn’t optimistic about the Twins’ chances against the Toronto Blue Jays, a team they have historically struggled to beat.

But the Twins proved me wrong (Have a little faith, right?) after they blasted the Blue Jays on Wednesday and swept the three-game series. It was the Twins’ first sweep of the Blue Jays in Toronto since 2003.

The see-saw game was finally tied by the Blue Jays in the eighth to send it to extra innings. And then the Twins went to work, blowing open a game in the 11th after Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run.

From there, they poured it on for a 12-6 win. The Twins scored 12 runs on 17 hits, with catcher Mitch Garver playing the role of hero. Garver went 4-for-6, including a home run, and knocked in five runs. Joe Mauer and Eddie Rosario had three hits apiece, while Brian Dozier and Jorge Polanco each had two hits.

Starter Ervin Santana, who made his 2018 debut Wednesday, pitched pretty well for someone who last faced major league hitters in October 2017. He struck out five in five innings and allowed three runs with one walk in the no-decision start. Reliever Matt Belisle was credited with the win.

“The first inning was the tough one for me,” Santana told MLB.com. “After that, I settled down and took a deep breath and went back to work. I was very happy, especially with the performance today. Five innings, three runs — it was good. I’ll take it.”

Kyle Gibson gets the ball Thursday.

Extra innings…

-Thursday’s game kicks off a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Boston is baseball’s best team at 71-32, including a 34-13 mark at home. Remember, though, the Twins took two of three games from the Sox in June at Target Field, including wins over Chris Sale (Sale didn’t figure in the decision) and David Price.

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.