A lot has happened to the Minnesota Twins in the past 48 hours.
Manager Rocco Baldelli, infielder Luis Arraez and pitcher Dylan Bundy have been sidelined by COVID-19, the $100 million man Carlos Correa is day-to-day with finger soreness after he was hit by a pitch, and in his place the team called up shortstop Royce Lewis, the Twins’ No. 1 prospect who made his major league debut and got his first hit in Friday night’s win over the Oakland A’s.
Starter Josh Winder was excellent, striking out eight over six innings to improve to 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA. He was backed by two solo home runs from Jose Miranda and Byron Buxton, who hit his ninth of the season, and the bullpen was sharp the rest of the way, although closer Emilio Pagan, who appears to have a touch of Fernando Rodney in him, made things very interesting to end the game.
Pagan struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth inning, then he allowed a hit and two walks and suddenly found himself trying to work around a bases-loaded jam. The Twins got a force play at home for the second out and then Pagan worked a full count to the next batter before finally striking him out to end the game. Pagan picked up his third save of the season.
Sonny Gray gets the ball Saturday.
-The Twins are 16-11 on the season after they split their four-game series with the St. Louis Browns.
-Friday’s game should have been a blowout win for the Twins. The Twins scored only two runs on eight hits because they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. The A’s had no extra-base hits and scored their only run on a sacrifice fly.
-Oregon State man Trevor Larnach hit his team-leading ninth double.
-Nice defense: Outfielders Gilberto Celestino and Max Kepler made diving catches to record outs and Larnach threw out a runner at home. Catcher Gary Sanchez also threw out a runner at second base.
-The Twins have two more games with the A’s, take Monday off, then welcome the Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians.
-And then there was this…
This Pagan character is second coming of Don Stanhouse, the O’s closer chain-smoking mgr Earl Weaver called “Full Pack.” Stanhouse once needed 20 minutes to finish one-inning save. This guy’s got two on 3-2 pitches after filling bases.
— Reusse (@Patrick_Reusse) May 7, 2022