August 9, 2020

3 home runs not enough to overcome off night for Twins bullpen

During the Twins’ six-game winning streak, the bullpen was the talk of baseball, pitching scoreless frame after scoreless frame and racking up six saves.

That was not the case on Saturday. Despite three home runs from Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton, which also happened to be his third straight game with a long ball, it wasn’t enough to offset a bullpen that served up seven earned runs en route to a 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

The Twins held a 4-2 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning. Lewis Thorpe spelled starter, Jake Odorizzi, and then served up three runs, followed by Cody Stashak, who allowed three more. Harvard man Sean Poppen also allowed a run on a wild pitch.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Sunday. Perhaps he can salvage the series with a win.

Extra innings…

-The losing streak now stands at three games. It’s the Royals first series win over the Twins since September 2018.

-Odorizzi’s 2020 debut was less than spectacular. He tossed 71 pitches over three innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits, including a home run.

-Buxton continues to bust his way out of an early slump. He went 2-for-4, including a home run, scored a run and drove in two runs. He’s now hitting .233. Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-3 and is now hitting .350.

-Struggling Mitch Garver and Miguel Sano went hitless in nine at bats and struck out five times.

-Jorge Alcala had the best pitching line of the game: two innings of scoreless baseball with no walks and four strikeouts.

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.