Sunday’s Twins win over the Tampa Bay Rays marked their 40th win of the season. They also are the first team in the American League to get to 40 wins and then there’s this accomplishment: no team in Twins history has reached 40 wins faster than the 2019 club, the team announced.
Does the baseball world need any more proof that the Twins are for real? Probably, given that the Twins have struggled in recent seasons, but they are damn close to making believers out of everyone.
After a tough Game 1 loss to the Rays, the Twins won three straight, including Sunday’s 9-7 win, a game that wasn’t nearly as close as it would appear. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, who improved to 8-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.96, cruised through six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. He exited with a 7-0 lead.
But the Twins bullpen, specifically Matt Magill and Blake Parker, got into big trouble and gave up seven runs, six earned. However, Taylor Rogers got the ball in the ninth and struck out the side on 11 pitches for his fifth save of the season.
Meanwhile, center fielder Byron Buxton went all-world on the Rays and set social media ablaze with a double play for the ages. Buxton went deep on a fly ball to center, made the catch while also bouncing off the wall, then threw out the runner retreating to first base. Score it, 8-3. If that wasn’t enough, Buxton scored from third on a squeeze bunt and went 2-for-4 at the plate. The guy is just good.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop also redemeed himself by hitting a two-run home run in the eighth (his 11th) after a throwing error earlier in the game.
Now, it’s on to Cleveland. Newcomer Devin Smeltzer gets the ball Tuesday.
-The Twns are 40-18 and lead the AL Central by 11.5 games.
-Miguel Sano went 3-for-3 on Sunday with two doubles.
-There was plenty of twitter excitement about the Twins on Sunday.
The #MNTwins are the 1st AL team to reach 40 wins. The #MNTwins are the 1st team outside the AL East to win a series vs. Tampa Bay. Tired of the “who have they played” narrative. The #MNTwins are a great team.
— Cory Provus (@CoryProvus) June 2, 2019
That was some freaky fine stuff from Rogers.
— Reusse (@Patrick_Reusse) June 2, 2019
The American League Central. pic.twitter.com/4pKErzoxUu
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 2, 2019