The Twins tumbled into third place after a six-run rally fell short on Friday, the team ultimately losing 7-6 to the Cleveland Guardians at Target Field.
The loss means the Twins are now looking up at the Chicago White Sox and Guards in the division because both teams won on Friday. The Guards knocked off the Twins, of course, while the Sox, losing 3-0 to the Oakland A’s for most of the game, finally scored five runs in the ninth to win 5-3.
Now that’s how you pull off a come-from-behind victory. The South Siders are now 1.5 games back of the division lead and a game ahead of the Twins.
The Twins got into a mess of trouble early in Friday’s game. Starter Dylan Bundy, who looked so good in his last start, was terrible, allowing seven runs, all earned, on 12 hits, over four-plus innings.
Down 7-0 in the fifth, it looked as if the Twins were dead and buried for sure, but they scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning, two more in the sixth and two in the eighth after Carlos Correa hit his 19th home run of the season. But the rally ended there after Cleveland’s ace closer, Emmanuel Clase, pitched a scoreless ninth.
Chris Archer gets the ball Saturday.
-The Twins are a game over .500 at 69-68. They are well out of the running for a wild card spot, but are only 2.5 games back of the top spot in the division. Hard to believe.
-At least Correa seems more than ready to put the team on his back and carry them in September. He hit the go-ahead homer in the Twins’ sole victory in the Bronx on Thursday and he went 4-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and four RBI in the Game 1 loss to the Guards.
-The Twins scored their six runs on 14 hits, but once again their offensive production could have been a little more efficient. Despite all those hits, the Twins were 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
-Another problem: There are some big holes in the lineup. Correa, Jose Miranda and Gio Urshela accounted for 10 of the Twins’ 14 hits, which is fine, except a lineup card doesn’t end with three players. Gary Sanchez, Jake Cave, Gilberto Celestino, and a pinch-hitting Max Kepler all went hitless in Friday’s game.
-An even bigger problem: The Twins are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
-I was thinking of radio play-by-play man Cory Provus, who apparently has the weekend off, after Kris Atteberry’s call of Correa’s home run. Atteberry’s call was OK, but Provus would have given the dinger the full-throated blowout it deserved.