The Twins’ Max Kepler played hero on Tuesday and again early Wednesday morning. He hit a game-tying blast in the 13th inning and then singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 17th to beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-3. It was the Twins’ first walk-off win of the season.
The win also snapped a two-game losing streak. The Twins have yet to lose three games in a row this season.
Both teams scored in the fourth inning, both teams scored in the seventh and eighth innings, and then the Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in top of the 13th inning. But in the bottom of the inning, Kepler stepped up and crushed the ball for his 18th home run and tied the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the 17th, the Twins’ Luis Arraez singled, Eddie Rosario doubled and C.J. Cron was intentionally walked to face Kepler. And that was the game.
Kyle Gibson gets the ball Wednesday.
-Kepler also singled to tie the game in the eighth inning.
-The Twins are 48-24.
-Tuesday’s game was five hours, 45 minutes.
-If Kepler was the hero, Miguel Sano was the goat. He had a horrific game. Sano was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts. He’s now hitting .225.
-The two teams combined had 32 hits; 17 for the Red Sox, 15 for the Twins.
-They also left 30 men on base; 16 for the Twins, 14 for the Red Sox.
-The two teams also used 16 relievers; eight for each team.
-The Twins exhausted their bullpen and finally had to turn to rookie reliever, Zack Littell. But Littell did just fine. He pitched two innings of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts and got the win. He entered the game with an ERA of more than 11.00, but had slashed it to 8.64 by the time he was done.
-I thought Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was rolling the dice when he lifted reliever Tyler Duffey after only two innings. Duffey has experience as a starting pitcher, so I expected him to get three, maybe four innings of work before Baldelli moved on to the weaker part of the Twins bullpen.
-Byron Buxton and Ehire Adrianza have landed on the 10-day injury list. In their place, the Twins have called up infielder Arraez and outfielder Jake Cave. Both played in Tuesday’s game.
-And now one more opinion about Monday’s loss to the Red Sox.
Now that we know it was Polanco's brainstorm to bunt, I say it's time for emergency session in clubhouse side room w/ Big Herbie & the G-Man, with a couple of shots of Wild Turkey & a beer, where Jorge receives the legendary msg:
"See the ball, hit the ball.''
— Reusse (@Patrick_Reusse) June 18, 2019