A good-hitting team like the Twins won’t go scoreless for long, and they showed that Friday by flexing their muscles early.
Max Kepler and Alex Avila slugged home runs, Eddie Rosario added a bases-clearing double and the Twins held on for a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of their four-game series.
The Twins scored four runs on nine hits, but it should’ve been a lot more because Cleveland pitching issued six walks. And yet the Twins couldn’t capitalize on the free passes. They left eight men on base and were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Although the Twins couldn’t break the game open, neither could the Tribe who were held in check by Twins pitching.
Starter Randy Dobnak pitched scoreless baseball for five innings, followed by four relievers who allowed only one run for the remainder of the game. Taylor Rogers earned his second save on five pitches, getting three groundouts to end the game.
The Dobber struck out four over five innings. He allowed three hits, issued two walks and threw a not-so-efficient 94 pitches, and yet it seemed, like it did in his first start, that he could’ve pitched deeper into the game. Right now, that will work for the Twins.
The #MNTwins have gotten exactly five strong innings from their starters in each of the last five games.
Given how this bullpen has pitched so far, that'll play. No need to push arms for now, especially considering the rash of pitcher injuries so far this year.
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 1, 2020
Kenta Maeda gets the ball Saturday.
-There was a scary moment in Friday’s game when Josh Donaldson was suddenly replaced by a pinch hitter. It turns out that Donaldson is day-to-day with right calf tightness, according to MLB.com.
-Another scary moment: The Twins learned Friday that two players on the Cardinals tested positive for the novel coronavirus before Wednesday’s game at Target Field. MLB.com reports that “all tests to that point had come back negative for COVID-19, including the employees in the visiting clubhouse that had been in close contact with both Cardinals and Indians players.”
-Twins bats on Thursday fell silent against the Tribe after pitcher Shane Bieber had another stellar outing. He struck out 14 on opening day and nearly equalled that total with 13 against the Twins for a 2-0 win. The Twins’ Jose Berrios showed improvement over his opening day start, but he still threw 96 pitches in five innings. He struck out six, walked two and made one mistake, serving up a two-run home run to Francisco Lindor. With Bieber on the mound, that’s all the scoring Cleveland would need.