July 9, 2021

Finally, a little offense for the Twins

The Twins scored five runs against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, which wouldn’t normally be cause for celebration, but it is in this case because the Minnesota club scored only two runs over two games against the Chicago White Sox, both of which were losses (no surprise).

The Twins fell behind early, then rallied to tie the Tigers at 3-3 on Ryan Jeffers’ home run, a Trevor Larnach single and a Miguel Sano blast, his 15th. Then the go-ahead and winning runs were scored on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly. It wasn’t much, but it still pushed across five runs on six hits.

J.A. Happ pitched pretty well. He allowed three runs over seven innings with eight strikeouts, which was good enough to improve to 5-4 with an earned run average finally under 6.00 at 5.90. Taylor Rogers earned his eighth save of the season on six pitches, all of which were thrown for strikes. Detroit batters lined out, grounded out and struck out against Rogers to end the game.

Kenta Maeda gets the ball on Friday.

Extra innings…

-The Twins are 2-10 against the South Siders this season, but 4-2 against Motown. They play eight straight games against the Tigers: four games before the all-star game and four after it.

-Josh Donaldson was back in the lineup on Thursday. He struck out twice and earned a free pass to first.

-The lack of run-scoring production hurt the Twins in their two losses to the White Sox, but it was probably felt most acutely by starting pitcher, Jose Berrios, who allowed one earned run over seven innings with 10 strikeouts and still lost, falling to 7-3 on the season with a 3.36 ERA. Berrios struck out the side in the first on Tuesday, then walked two batters in the top of the second. The runners advanced on an error, then both scored on a single. Berrios’ pitching line looked like this: seven innings pitched, one hit, two runs, one earned run, three walks and 10 strikeouts. That’s a tough way to lose. The final score was 4-1, White Sox.

-Former Twins pitcher, Jim Kaat, continues to share broadcast duties with play-by-play man Dick Bremer. On more than one occasion, Kaat has talked about the early days of pitching for the Twins. In 1961, he struggled, finishing the year 9-17, but with a 3.90 ERA.

In 1962, he won 18 games, and you might say he “arrived” on April 22 when the Twins faced the Los Angeles Angels on the road at Dodger Stadium, according to Baseball-Reference.com. Kaat tossed a dazzler, pitching a complete game four-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. Harmon hit a three-run home run and the Twins won, 5-0. Kaat, who spent 15 seasons with the Twins, thinks he saw 500 of Killebrew’s 573 home runs.


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.