June 26, 2023

Payback: Twins get series win over Tigers

The Twins won 6-3 in 10 innings on Sunday to take two of three games from the Detroit Tigers in their house, which seems perfectly appropriate after the Tigers did the same to the Twins at Target Field earlier this month.


The Twins tied the game late, then scored three runs in the top of the 10th to finish them off. The pitching win went to reliever Griffin Jax, the save to closer Jhoan Duran, his 11th of the season.

The win puts the Twins a game over .500 again at 40-39, still good enough to have a two-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians in the lowly AL Central.

Now, we’re about to find out just how good or bad the Twins really are.

That’s because they head to Atlanta for a three-game series with one tough customer in the red-hot Braves. The Braves, 9-1 in their last 10 games, have the No. 1 run-scoring offense in the National League at 421 runs and the No. 2 team ERA at 3.82, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The Twins, including Sunday’s win, have scored 340 runs this season.

Sonny Gray gets the ball Monday.

Extra innings …

-Starter Bailey Ober made another quality start but didn’t figure in the decision. His quality start followed on the heels of the quality start turned in by Pablo Lopez, who did lose, despite striking out 10 over six innings with three runs allowed. Lopez this season is 3-5 with a 4.41 ERA. Those numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, however. Lopez is the team leader in innings pitched with 96 and strikeouts with 120. He appears set to reach career highs in both categories.

-Another word about quality starts: About half of the team’s total starts have been quality starts, which is still about 15 percent better than the league average, according to Baseball-Reference.com. Eleven of Joe Ryan’s 15 starts have been quality starts.

-Hats off to starter Kenta Maeda, who returned to action Friday from the injured list and won, pitching five innings of scoreless baseball with eight strikeouts.

-I was questioning why rookie Royce Lewis was hitting so low in the order with a hot bat. Ask and you shall receive because he hit cleanup on Sunday and delivered with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.


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.