The team that dropped two of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks returned home to Target Field Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the Twins played like they were still stuck in Phoenix.
The Twins were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, struck out 15 times as a team and finally fell in 11 innings to the Cleveland Guardians, 6-5. The Twins and Guardians are now tied for the lead in the AL Central.
It was a frustrating game. Cleveland batters dinked and doinked their way to an early lead — Oregon State man Steven Kwan had some of those cheap hits — and then the Twins bullpen did the rest. Reliever Emilio Pagan, who may not be long for this season, served up a game-tying two-run home run and earned his fourth blown save of the season, then reliever Griffin Jax allowed a run in the top of the 11th.
In the home half of the inning, the Twins countered with strikeout, groundout and flyout. Ballgame.
Sonny Gray gets the ball Wednesday.
-The Twins are 38-31.
-Pagan has now allowed six home runs in 23 innings.
-Don’t blame Tuesday starter Joe Ryan. He battled for six innings and made a quality start, allowing only three runs with a walk and seven strikeouts. He also has a good move to first base and picked off Kwan easily early in the game.
-On June 22, 1969, the Twins split a doubleheader with the Oakland A’s, winning 4-3 in 13 innings in the second game. Pitcher Jim Perry squeezed home Tony Oliva for the go-ahead run and then Jim Kaat closed out the game with a one-inning save, his only save that season.
The game story appeared in the June 23, 1969, edition of the Minneapolis Tribune, as did a Molly Ivins byline on the front page of the paper. She had to cover a Scandinavian summer festival called “Svenkarnas Dag,” although it apparently rained, garnering the headline: “Heavens open for Svenkarnas Dag.”
“Never let it be said a Swede was discouraged by miserable weather, but the turnout at Sunday’s Svenkarnas Dag was far less than it usually is.”
Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com