Before Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer settled in and struck out 11 Twins on Saturday, he first had to contend with Twins right fielder, Max Kepler.
Kepler hit two home runs off him, Jake Cave added a third and, despite the strikeouts, the Twins added a few more runs late to top the Tribe, 6-2. The Twins have won two of three games in the series and now go for the sweep on Sunday. The win increased their lead in the division to 7.5 games.
Kepler stole the show on Saturday. Following the second blast, Kepler had hit five home runs in his last five at bats against Bauer. He hit three off Bauer on June 6.
You are ridiculous, Max Kepler
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticMIN) July 13, 2019
Kepler in his own words:
“I just try and time a guy and stay as balanced as possible,” Kepler told MLB.com. “And sometimes, you know you’re off-balance. People make mistakes and the best hitters can simplify. Like [Mike] Trout, he’s always [balanced], it looks like. I was balanced today.”
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli on Kepler:
“It’s unfathomable that it is happening in front of our eyes,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told MLB.com. “I was going to say that I don’t think any of us had seen anything like it. Come to find out, nobody has seen anything like it.”
Kepler and Cave drove in five of the Twins’ six runs. Marwin Gonzalez added another RBI on a sacrifice fly.
The win went to Jake Odorizzi. He allowed one run over five-plus innings and improved to 11-4. Jose Berrios gets the ball Sunday.
-The Twins are now back to being 25 games over .500 at 58-33. The Indians are now 50-40.
-Byron Buxton made another spectacular diving catch on Saturday, but it looks like the dive may have cost him a few days away from the game after his head appeared to hit the ground.
-After Bauer exited the game, the Twins jumped all over Indians closer Tyler Clippard with three hits and two runs. They also scored a run on Clippard in Friday’s game. Will Indians manager, Terry Francona, go with Clippard on Sunday? And how will they pitch Kepler? Can we expect a brush back pitch to start the game?