July 24, 2019

Twins fall short to Yankees after epic, extra-innings slugfest

Tuesday’s Twins/Yankees game featured 35 hits and 26 runs, but when it was all over the Twins came up just short to the Yanks, losing 14-12 in 10 innings, despite loading the bases in the bottom of the 10th.

In the bottom half of the inning, Max Kepler came to the plate and hit a slicing drive to left center that Yankees center fielder and ex-Twin Aaron Hicks laid out to catch to end the game.

Here’s the good news: Cleveland lost to the Blue Jays in extra-innings as well, so the Twins’ AL Central lead remains at three games.

Still, it was a tough loss because the Twins were at one point leading the Yankees, 8-2. Ugh.

Twins starter Kyle Gibson got into trouble early, then battled for five innings before stepping aside for the bullpen. In came rookie reliever, Cody Stashak, who was brilliant, striking out three in two innings. And then it went downhill from there.

Relievers Blake Parker, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rogers and Kohl Stewart allowed nine runs, all earned. And that was the game.

It was not without drama. Miguel Sano hit a two-run blast late to regain the lead 11-10 and Jorge Polanco hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 12.

The rubber match is Wednesday. Jake Odorizzi gets the ball.

Extra innings…

-Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and hitting coach, James Rowson, were both ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

-The big bopper for the Twins was Sano, who hit two home runs and drove in five. Polanco and Nelson Cruz also hit back-to-back home runs.

-The Twins out-slugged the Yankees in the home run department, but the Pinstripers hit seven doubles.

-After the Twins turned a triple play in Monday’s game, the Baseball-Reference.com newsletter pointed out the Twins are the only team in major league history to turn two triple plays in one game. That happened against the Boston Red Sox on July 17, 1990.

-Some twitter reaction to Tuesday’s game:


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.