The Twins put the game in motion early and added a couple of solo home runs after that to beat the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday and win the series.
The “small ball” looked like this: A Luis Arraez walk, a steal of second base and then Max Kepler singled him home to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Gio Urshela hit his third home run of the season in the fourth, followed by Byron Buxton’s 11th, which keeps him among the league leaders in home runs, in the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, starter Joe Ryan cruised, allowing one run over six innings to improve to 4-2 with a 2.39 ERA. Emilio Pagan closed out the game for his fifth save.
Chris Archer gets the ball Monday in Oakland.
-Urshela played some nice defense at third on Sunday, going wide of the bag twice to field the ball, then made long throws across the diamond to get the runners at first base. First baseman Arraez was so impressed that he tipped his cap to Urshela after those plays.
-As you have no doubt noticed by now, I make it a point to do a daily check of Baseball-Reference.com and its “today in baseball history” section of the website. I am always amazed at how much history the Twins and New York Yankees share, and on May 16, 2010, they did it again, the Twins’ Jason Kubel connecting for a grand slam to beat the Yanks, 6-3.
After the game, Michael Cuddyer awarded game balls to his teammates for the win, including closer Jon Rauch, who gave his to manager Ron Gardenhire, according to the Star Tribune.
“I thought that was great,” Gardenhire said. “I’ll keep the ball, and that’s wonderful. But it’s … we’ve won one game at Yankee Stadium. I don’t know that’s the memories we want to keep.”