July 4, 2022

Twins drop finale to Orioles

Remember the back-to-back walk-off wins, Twins fans?

The good vibrations created by those two late-inning victories quickly ebbed away on Sunday after the Twins mustered only four hits in a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Despite the loss, the Twins still won the series, although it’s pretty clear that when Byron Buxton gets a day off, this team lacks a little pep in its step.

The lack of offensive production meant that starter Devin Smeltzer, who made a quality start, took the loss. He allowed only three runs over six innings, but did cough up three solo home runs. 

The Twins now head to Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, to start a new series on Monday. Dylan Bundy gets the ball.

Extra innings….

-After the loss the Twins are 45-37, but now lead the Cleveland Guardians by only two games after the Guards, incredibly, one-hit the Yankees on Sunday for a 2-0 win. Which Yankee got the only hit? Ex-Twin Josh Donaldson.

-Starting pitcher Sonny Gray did not come away with a decision in Saturday’s win over the Orioles. There was some speculation about Gray possibly not working well with catcher Gary Sanchez, but part of me wonders just how much Gray might miss former pitching coach Wes Johnson, and whether that absence and not Sanchez, will affect his performance.

According to ESPN and the Associated Press, Gray spoke very highly of him after Johnson confirmed his departure.

“It’s a tough one,” said Gray, who allowed just three singles in an 11-1 victory on June 27. “It’s someone who I became really close with and I think if you know me at all, letting people in and getting into relationships in that respect, I put my guard up a lot.

“I was mad at him a lot today. I was happy for him a lot today. I used every emotion and kind of everything that was going through, I kind of used it to pour into the game.”

-On July 4, 1974, the Twins’ Bert Blyleven one-hit the Texas Rangers for a 3-1 win before 21,000 at the Met. All three runs were scored by the Twins in the bottom of the ninth inning, including a Larry Hisle two-run dinger.

“I told (teammate) Eric Solderholm in the dugout about the fourth inning that we’d win 2-1 in the ninth inning, but Hisle’s home run made me a one-run liar,” said Blyleven to the Minneapolis Tribune.

Sources: ESPN.com, MLB.com, The Associated Press, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com


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.