September 14, 2020

Twins sweep Tribe. Now, bring on the Chicago White Sox

It’s just what the doctor ordered: A three-game sweep, a nice cushion in the form of a 30-18 record and what would appear to be plenty of momentum as the Twins head to Chicago to play the White Sox and Cubs.

But first there was Sunday’s game. The Twins rallied from a 3-0 deficit by hitting four home runs (11 overall in the series), including Nelson Cruz’s 16th of the season to prevail 7-5 over the Cleveland Indians. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run home run, Ryan Jeffers did the same, then Josh Donaldson added a solo shot in the fifth. A Gonzalez sacrifice fly made it seven runs scored on a very efficient seven hits.

The Tribe outhit the Twins 13-7, but were a dismal 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.

Michael Pineda labored a bit in Sunday’s game, tossing 98 pitches over four-plus innings. But he limited the damage to three runs and struck out eight. Four relievers followed Big Mike. Minnesota native Caleb Thielbar allowed a run and so did Cody Stashak, then Twins manager Rocco Baldelli rolled the dice and brought in fiery Sergio Romo to close out the game. Romo was suspended a game and fined after a brief altercation with the Tribe’s Francisco Lindor on Friday. Romo pitched a scoreless inning and earned his fourth save of the season

Jose Berrios gets the ball Monday in Game 1 of a four-game series with the Pale Hose at Guaranteed Rate Field. Buckle up, Twins fans.

Extra innings…

-The Twins won the season series against the Tribe, 7-3.

-The Twins can’t escape the injury bug. Eddie Rosario injured his left elbow after nearly colliding with Byron Buxton in the outfield and reliever Trevor May exited the game early with back cramps, according to MLB.com.

-I have a better understanding of how the postseason will work after reading my MLB.com newsletter this morning. The wild card series begins Sept. 29 and all eight seeds will have to participate, including the division winners. It’s a best-of-three format and the higher seed gets to host all three games in their ballpark. If the season ended today, the No. 5 Toronto Blue Jays would play the No. 4 Twins at Target Field.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.