Starter Kenta Maeda earned his first win of the season, Jorge Polanco delivered a key hit and the Twins edged the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Wednesday to take two of three games from the Motor City-based club. The Twins have won four of their first six games of the season.
The Twins fell behind early, but rallied to pull ahead on Polanco’s 2 RBI double in the sixth inning. The Twins scored three runs on seven hits. Kyle Garlick, filling in for Max Kepler in right field, led the way with two hits.
Maeda struck out six over six innings and was much more efficient, tossing only 75 pitches before he stepped aside. Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless inning and Alex Colome earned the two-inning save, his second of the season.
Some great fielding gave the Twins a lift. They turned three double plays and had two assists, throwing out runners at home plate. And on both occasions it wasn’t close.
The Twins now head home for the Target Field opener. Jose Berrios gets the ball on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners.
-The Twins’ 4-2 record has them atop the AL Central, a half-game ahead of the Kansas City Royals. All is as it should be for the Twins and Twins fans.
-Well, the talk of baseball is a Tigers player named Akil Baddoo. Here’s the hard part: He’s a former Twins prospect who the Twins left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. Baddoo’s first major league hit was a home run, followed by a grand slam, a game-winning hit and on Wednesday he hit a triple. Oy vey.
-Old friend watch: Kudos to Texas Rangers pitcher, Kyle Gibson, who bounced back nicely after a horrible opening day start that saw him leave the game with an ERA of 135.00. On Wednesday, Gibson pitched six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to help the Rangers top Toronto 2-1. He earned his first win and slashed that ERA to 7.11.
-The Twins have two losses this season, and both came in extra-innings. The most recent was a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday. J.A. Happ got the start. He wasn’t terrible, but he also wasn’t very sharp, throwing 89 pitches in four innings. Nelson Cruz had three more hits in that game, including his third home run of the season. For his career, he has hit 420 home runs. Can he get to 500?
-Minnesota native, Caleb Thielbar, struck out five over two innings in a relief appearance on Tuesday.
-Rookie outfielder, Brent Rooker, has wound up on the injured list. He has been replaced by reliever, Brandon Waddell, who pitched well during spring training.