Twins hitting and pitching continues to excel, leading the team to an 8-2 win over the St. Louis Browns* on Sunday.
Newly acquired pitcher Sonny Gray was perfect over four innings, allowing no hits, no runs and no walks with six strikeouts. He appears to be ready for the regular season and so do the veteran hitters in the lineup. The Twins connected for five doubles, getting two apiece from Byron Buxton and Gio Urshela, whose bat is finally heating up. Carlos Correa added a fifth double and Miguel Sano homered.
The Twins won convincingly on Sunday, but despite scoring eight runs on 10 hits, the Twins should have won by an even larger margin because they were 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. A score of 17-2 sounds more appropriate.
Meanwhile, the Browns were terrible. They scored only two runs on three hits with an error and Browns pitching issued eight base on balls.
-The Twins improved to 8-9 in Grapefruit League play.
-In a previous post I mentioned that Tom Hall was the last rookie pitcher to get the ball on opening day. It happened on April 8, 1969. The Twins lost that game and would lose the next three before snapping a season-starting four-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the California Angels.
“I think the guys will relax now,” rookie manager Billy Martin said after the win to the Minneapolis Tribune. “They wanted to win that first one so bad that maybe they tried a little too hard.”
After the four-game losing streak, the Twins would win their next seven games before that streak was stopped at home before only 4,400 fans at the Met by the Oakland A’s and pitcher Rollie Fingers. Fingers pitched a complete game five-hitter to beat the Twins 7-0.
“That kid pitched very well,” Martin told the paper. “He had good stuff, but the way (umpire Larry) Barnett was calling strikes some of our guys had to swing at bad pitches.”
In addition to a game story on the loss, the Tribune ran a second story on Martin’s feud with Barnett that day.
“I don’t think Barnett knows the rules,” he said. “He called John Roseboro out at first in spite of the fact the first baseman was juggling the ball.”
-And then there was this…
Byron Buxton's last seven plate appearances:
— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) April 3, 2022
*The St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles in 1954.
Sources: Newspapers.com. Baseball-Reference.com.