The Twins’ 6-1 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays evaporated in humiliating fashion on Sunday after team pitching served up two key home runs, but none was bigger than the three-run home run allowed by reliever Emilio Pagan in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Twins failed to respond in the top of the ninth, and that was the game, a 7-6 win for the Blue Jays.
The Twins now head home to resume play Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. They have two games against the Brewers, then four versus the Detroit Tigers and four more against the Boston Red Sox. The good news is that the Twins have a winning record at home (18-14) and the Tigers are 1-9 in their last 10 games. The Brewers are a second-place team in the NL Central, while the Red Sox are dead last in the AL East.
However, Boston has a record of 33-33, which, if they played in the AL Central, would put them in a tie for the division lead with the Twins.
Pablo Lopez gets the ball Tuesday.
Extra innings …
-Ex-Twin Kyle Gibson, now with the Orioles, certainly appears to be a candidate for the All-Star team. He improved to 8-3 with a 3.90 ERA after he made a quality start Sunday in the O’s 11-3 win over the Royals.
-On June 10, 1981, two days before a players’ strike would interrupt baseball for about two months, the Twins lost at home 4-2 to the Tigers and a 26-year-old pitcher named Jack Morris.
Morris went the distance, allowing the two runs on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. The win bumped his record to 9-3 with a 2.56 ERA.
“I feel I am the best,” said Morris to the Minneapolis Tribune. “Well, one of the best, anyway. I’m aware of being tougher in the late innings. I can remember a couple of games that made me think that way. In Seattle last year, I think I had a two-hit shutout going into the ninth. I ended up losing 3-2. If you lose a game like that, it’s a waste.”
-And then there was this …
Emilio Pagán is the only relief pitcher in MLB with an ERA worse than the league average and a negative Win Probability Added in each of the past four seasons.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) June 11, 2023
Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com, MLB.com