The Twins are already in the playoffs, but if they want to win their second consecutive AL Central title, they need to win one more game on Sunday. A Twins loss, combined with a Chicago White Sox win, would mean a title for the South Siders because they hold the tiebreaker, according to MLB.com.
The Twins’ chances of winning on Friday were undercut by injuries to Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson. A player activated from the injured list on Saturday was almost all they would need to beat the Cincinnati Reds.
That player was Luis Arraez, who went 4-for-4 at the plate with three doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. Arraez, who is looking more and more like the second coming of Rod Carew, led the way on Saturday, but they also got five more doubles from Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario, Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza to finally pull away from the Reds, 7-3.
Michael Pineda wasn’t at his best. He allowed only two runs over four innings, but he also walked three batters. Reliever Tyler Clippard earned the win and Tyler Duffey closed out the game, striking out three batters on 15 pitches.
Rich Hill gets the ball on Sunday.
-The Twins are 36-23, including 24-6 at home. They are 12-17 on the road.
-Kepler had another good game. He went 2-for-3 at the plate, scored three runs and the right fielder also threw out a runner at second base.
-The White Sox finally snapped an ugly, six-game losing streak on Saturday with a 9-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs took a 5-2 lead into the top of the fourth inning, but the Pale Hose came roaring back in the bottom half of the inning with five runs, followed by two more in the sixth. The Cleveland Indians, meanwhile, were shut out by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0. Bucs starter, Joe Musgrove, struck out 10 over seven innings. Pirates pitching limited the Tribe to five hits
-Buxton was hit in the helmet with a pitch on Friday. It always looks so awful, but he was able to walk off the field on his own. I hope he’s OK.
-Starting pitcher Homer Bailey has been designated for assignment by the Twins, effectively cutting ties with the pitcher. In his place, the Twins called up pitching prospect Edwar Colina. Bailey was a bust for the Twins because he spent 45 days on the injured list.