May 16, 2022

A little ‘small ball,’ a little power helps Twins take series from Guardians

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.

Extra innings…

-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 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.”


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.