Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda was brilliant for eight innings on Tuesday. He didn’t allow a hit, he struck out 12 and he didn’t win.
That’s because the Milwaukee Brewers scored three runs in the ninth to force an extra-innings game that the Twins finally won in the 12th, 4-3. Jorge Polanco’s infield single scored the speedy Byron Buxton from third base and that was it.
But the night belonged to Maeda. His 12 strikeouts included eight straight, which set a new team record for consecutive whiffs.
Throwing a no hitter isn’t easy!
I’m glad to set a new franchise record of 8 consecutive strikeouts and be part of Twins history!
— 前田健太(Kenta Maeda)マエケン (@maeken1988) August 19, 2020
The no-hit bid was broken up by Brewers infielder, Eric Sogard, who singled just beyond the reach of shortstop, Polanco, who was near second base when he tried to make the play. After the hit, it appeared that all Maeda could do was smile at his misfortune. I hope a no-hitter is in his future.
Ex-Dodger Rich HIll gets the ball on Wednesday.
-Other than the near no-hitter, it was a strange game. Hits and runs were hard to come by. The Twins scored four runs on five hits, including three doubles, but they also were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.
-Maeda allowed a single in the top of the ninth and then the floodgates opened. Reliever Taylor Rogers allowed two runs, but only one was earned because of an error in the inning. And Sogard, who ended the no-hit bid, came around to score so a run was charged to Maeda. And just like that it was 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
-Marwin Gonzalez was ejected from the game in the 10th and replaced by catcher Mitch Garver at first base.
-Despite Maeda’s amazing, 115-pitch performance, the win went to Twins reliever, Jorge Alcala, who pitched two scoreless frames in the 11th and 12th innings. He allowed a hit with a walk and one strikeout. He’s now 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA.
-The Twins stole three bases in Tuesday’s game, including two swipes by Max Kepler.