April 19, 2018

Twins finally top Tribe 2-1 in 16 innings

If Wednesday’s 16-inning game between the Twins and Cleveland Indians is an indication of things to come, we can expect the two teams to duel all season long for bragging rights in the American League Central.

And like two evenly matched teams, the Twins and Tribe split their first meeting of the season. Ace Corey Kluber of the Indians took Game 1 on Tuesday, while Game 2 went to the Twins. Ace-in-the-making Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings for the Twins, but so did the Tribe’s Carlos Carrasco. And then both bullpens didn’t give an inch until the 14th inning when Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion hit a solo shot off Trevor Hildenberger.

But the Twins came right back in the bottom half of the same inning with a solo shot from slugger Miguel Sano off old friend Matt Belisle. The game remained tied until Ryan LaMarre, who had such a fantastic spring that he made the team, hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 16th to score Eddie Rosario and win the game.

The numbers piled up in this one:

-Game time: 5 hours, 13 minutes.

-Number of pitchers used: 17; nine for the Indians, eight for the Twins.

-Number of combined hits: 25.

-A not-so-pretty number: With runners in scoring position, the two teams were 1-for-21.

-Number of players left on base: 26.

-Number of strikeouts: 27.

Extra innings…

-Logan Morrison, who has yet to find his stroke, was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in Wednesday’s game. He’s now hitting .068.

-Bad news: Speedy outfielder Byron Buxton has landed on the 10-day disabled list with migraine headaches, and Max Kepler, his outfield partner, might be headed there, too, after he left Wednesday’s game with a knee injury.

-The Twins are off Thursday, then travel to Tampa for a three-game set with the 5-13 Rays. The Rays are already 10.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox because the Sox are sizzling hot at 15-2. Lance Lynn gets the ball Friday.

-Puerto Rico, which has struggled mightily with its infrastructure after the country was blasted by two hurricanes last year, lost power prior to Wednesday’s game, so generators were used so that the game could go on, according to Twinkie Town. In the face of an island-wide crisis that’s an unbelievably nice gesture, but it also shows that we have some mixed-up values. After all, it’s a U.S. territory and more should have been done to help the island after the hurricanes. If you would like to help, Twinkie Town has provided some links on its website.

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.