July 28, 2019

Twins’ AL Central lead shrinks to 1 game

The Twins have taken two of three games from the Chicago White Sox in this series, which, if not in the thick of a pennant race, would be just fine.

The problem is that the Twins’ nearest competitor, the Cleveland Indians, have become a team possessed. After Saturday’s win, the Tribe are now a sizzling 17-4 in July, while the Twins are 10-11 this month. In other words, the Twins can’t afford to lose, especially to a team like the Pale Hose.

But that’s exactly what happened Saturday. The bats fell silent — really silent — and the South Siders cruised to a 5-1 win. The Twins had a grand total of three hits, including one extra-base hit from Byron Buxton. And that was it.

The Twins go for the series win on Sunday. Kyle Gibson gets the ball.

And they just can’t “go for the series win” on Sunday. They HAVE to win.

Extra innings…

-The Twins finally made a move before the trade deadline to get reliever Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins, according to MLB.com.

Romo, 36, entered Saturday with a 3.58 ERA and 17 saves over 38 appearances this season. He has played for the Giants, Dodgers, Rays and Marlins during his career, posting a lifetime 2.91 ERA with 126 saves over his 12 seasons.

He also has plenty of postseason experience, having won three World Series with the San Francisco Giants.

-To get this deal done, the Twins sent minor league first baseman, Lewin Diaz, to the Marlins. The Twins also received minor league pitcher Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

-Although the bats fell silent on Saturday, the Twins set another record on Friday by hitting their 200th home run in 103 games, the fastest in major league history. Max Kepler hit No. 200, his 27th home run of the season. Nelson Cruz also hit a solo blast in the Twins’ 6-2 win on Friday.

-Martin Perez made a quality start on Saturday, despite taking the loss. He’s now 8-4 with a 4.38 ERA.


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.