September 2, 2020

Quality start, clutch hitting help Twins snap 6-game losing streak

Everything that went wrong on Monday — a quick exit by the starting pitcher, a worn out bullpen and not enough hits when they matter most — went according to plan on Tuesday as the Twins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

And Michael Pineda and Byron Buxton played key roles in the win.

Big Mike, making his 2020 debut, got into trouble early by giving up two runs in the top of the first inning, but then he settled down to make a quality start. He gave the Twins six innings and held the South Siders to just two runs with a walk and four strikeouts. The six innings were huge because it largely gave the bullpen the night off. After Pineda exited, Caleb Thielbar and Sergio Romo pitched scoreless frames, then Matt Wisler, who usually finds himself in the role of opener, closed it out with his first save of the season.

Although the Twins scored only three runs, it was good to see them bang out 11 hits. Luis Arraez tied the game on a pinch hit double, then Buxton drove in the go-ahead run with a single. Buxton had two hits in his return to the lineup and also robbed a home run from the White Sox in the outfield. It’s great to see him back.

Jose Berrios gets the ball on Wednesday in the rubber match.

Extra innings…

-The White Sox and Indians are tied atop the AL Central, with the Twins 1.5 games back.

-Getting 11 hits and scoring only three runs means the Twins didn’t have the most productive night on the base paths. The Twins were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Still, they won.

-In what appeared to be an effort to spark the offense, manager Rocco Baldelli had slugger Miguel Sano hit leadoff on Tuesday, but it backfired. Sano was hitless in five at bats and struck out three times.

-Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario and Buxton had nine of the Twins’ 11 hits.


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.