May 21, 2019

Back to winning as Twins beat Angels in Game 1

The Twins dropped the final game of its four-game series against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, but the team got right back to its winning ways on Monday with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Jake Odorizzi and three relievers six-hit the Halos and slugger Miguel Sano delivered the big blow, hitting a 2-run home run in the eighth inning to untie the game for the 3-1 lead.

Ex-Angel and now Twins closer, Blake Parker, picked up his eighth save.

Michael Pineda gets the ball on Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-I’m a little surprised that Odorizzi was pulled after five innings. He gave up only three hits and struck out six, but was lifted after 90 pitches. Did he get hurt?

-Top prospect Luis Arraez is quickly making a name for himself. He filled in at second base and went three-for-four on Monday. Max Kepler also had two hits.

-Willians Astudillo continues to work his way around the diamond. He has played both behind the plate and in the outfield, but on Monday he was at first base.

-The Angels used an opener* again and this time had more success. Reliever Taylor Cole pitched an inning of scoreless baseball, then Felix Pena pitched five innings and allowed only one run.

-Watching highlights of Monday’s game, it appeared that former Twins slugger, Tony Oliva, was in the dugout. Yes, it was him. He’s traveling with the team for the first time in nearly 30 years, according to the Strib.

Tony Oliva admits he doesn’t know all of the Twins’ signs, but he can still be of value on the bench. “I only give the hit sign,” said Oliva, who had 1,917 of them in 15 years with the Twins. “ ‘Get a hit.’ ”

 

Oliva is in uniform during this seven-game road trip to Seattle and Anaheim, the first time he’s traveled with the team since he was a coach on Tom Kelly’s staff in 1991. “I feel like a rookie again,” the 80-year-old Twins Hall of Famer said. “My first road trip in almost 30 years.”

 

-Oliva’s Rookie of the Year season of 1964 has to be one of the best ever. He hit .323 with 217 hits, 109 runs, 94 RBI, 43 doubles and 32 home runs. For those who prefer slash lines, Oliva hit .323/.359/.557.

*In the opener format, a reliever starts the game to tee up the primary pitcher for an effective outing. The theory behind the opener is that it prevents the opposing team’s lineup from becoming too familiar with the primary pitcher.

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.