After Friday’s display of standout pitching, the quality pitching was nowhere to be found on Saturday after the Twins and Red Sox combined to score 20 runs on 34 hits — 19 for the Twins and 15 for the Red Sox. And that was the difference as the Twins edged the No. 1 offense in baseball, 11-9, in four hours and 11 minutes, the longest nine-inning game in Twins history.
At 4 hours, 11 minutes, Twins' 11-9 win tonight was indeed the longest 9-inning game in Twins history. (By one minute.)
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) July 24, 2016
That’s back-to-back wins for the Twins, with a chance to take three of four games from Boston on Sunday.
Saturday’s starters didn’t last long. The Twins’ Ricky Nolasco gave up six runs, all earned, in two innings of work, while one of the highest paid (7 years, $217 million) players in baseball — David Price — didn’t fare much better, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs in five-plus innings. After that, both teams leaned heavily on bullpens — 11 total relievers were used — but the hits kept on coming.
Eddie Rosario led the way with four hits for the Twins, followed by Miguel Sano with three, while Eduardo Nunez, Max Kepler, Kennys Vargas and Juan Centeno each had two apiece. It was that kind of night.
Tommy Milone gets the ball on Sunday.
-Sano had one crazy night at third base on Saturday. He did well at the plate, collecting three hits, including his 15th home run, but it was quite an adventure in the field. He committed his 12th error, but also made a nice play on a foul ball to record an out. But it was the misplayed/misread/misunderstood pop-up that had everyone scratching their heads, including the Twins’ radio team of Cory Provus and Dan Gladden. Sano apparently thought the short pop fly was headed to left field. Instead, the ball fell to earth near third base for a hit. Nunez and Rosario both tried to converge on the ball, but it was too late.
Molitor on Ortiz pop that fell behind Sano: "He gave up on that one too soon considering we were in the shift. Lesson learned."
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) July 24, 2016
-Believe it or not, the Twins have been playing .500 ball since the team’s terrible start. In the past 52 games, the Twins are 26-26.
-Saturday marked back-to-back saves for Brandon Kintzler. He now has eight on the season.
-Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler each had a triple.
-Boston pitcher Price has had success against the Twins, but not on Saturday after giving up 11 hits and five earned runs with only four strikeouts. Until Saturday, Price was 9-3 with a 2.12 ERA versus the Twins.
-Old friend Carl Willis, the Red Sox pitching coach, spent five seasons with the Twins, including in 1991 when they won a second World Series.
And finally this from Surviving Grady, a blog (and a good read, too) about the Boston Red Sox.
“Oh, and if the Twins beat David Price today, just start the goddam fire sale now.”
Get it started, Boston.