After falling to 0-8 in extra-innings, the Twins once again found themselves in the 10th inning, tied at 5-5 against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. But this time they were unbowed. Luis Arraez took his place at second base, Josh Donaldson earned a free pass to first base, then Kyle Garlick worked a full count before teeing off to straightaway center field for a three-run home run and 8-5 lead.
Recently suspended (for throwing behind the White Sox’s Yermin Mercedes) reliever Tyler Duffey buttoned down the bottom half of the inning for his first save and the Twins took two of three games from the Tribe. The Twins are now 5-5 in their last 10 games, which wouldn’t normally be cause for celebration, but I’ll take it.
J.A. Happ allowed four runs over six innings, but he also struck out 10. The win and blown save went to reliever Hansel Robles.
Matt Shoemaker gets the ball Monday at home against the Baltimore Orioles. A sweep of the O’s and the Twins would find themselves at 20-29 before the calendar turns to June. Can they claw their way back?
-Max Kepler sure likes Progressive Field in Cleveland. He, too, hit a three-run dinger on Sunday, the 13th of his young career in that ballpark.
-On Saturday, I questioned why starter Kenta Maeda was lifted after five innings and only 70-some pitches. It turns out he was hurt and has now landed on the 10-day injured list with an adductor strain (pulled groin).
-On a related note, I recently described the Twins and their injury problems as a MASH unit. I was exaggerating then, but now I’m not. Here’s the injury list: Maeda, Byron Buxton, Michael Pineda, Jake Cave and Devin Smeltzer. Nelson Cruz and Jorge Polanco also are day-to-day with wrist (Cruz) and ankle (Polanco) soreness.
-And then there was this…
On May 23, 1981, the Twins and Kansas City Royals went scoreless for 14 innings before the Royals’ Willie Wilson singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 15th, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The Twins were terrible in 1981 and so was baseball because of the strike-shortened season. The final two games of the season were walk-off losses against the White Sox at Comiskey Park. They lost 5-4 and 13-12, although in that second game, rookie first baseman, Kent Hrbek, went 4-for-4 with two doubles.
But before they went to Chicago, the Twins played their final three games at Metropolitan Stadium, which was set to be replaced by the Metrodome in 1982. The Twins were swept by the Royals: 6-1, 4-2, 4-2.