August 19, 2023

Strong pitching, bloop hits earn Twins a Game 1 win over Bucs

The Twins were slow to start on Friday, but they finally got on the board with a two-run home run, then tacked on three more runs via some unlikely RBI hits to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1.

That was more than enough runs for Twins pitching. Starter Pablo Lopez pitched six shutout innings, Griffin Jax redeemed himself with a scoreless inning, Emilio Pagan did the same and Jhoan Duran struck out the side in the ninth. The lone run was allowed by Caleb Thielbar, who also couldn’t get an out in the inning after he came in for Lopez.

Pablo’s six shutout innings has now run his scoreless innings streak to 19, according to

Michael A. Taylor drilled a fourth inning dinger, but perhaps the two bloop hits were more interesting. Jorge Polanco hit a short fly to right field that fell between three fielders, then Kyle Farmer nearly did the same and yet he managed to make it all the way to second base.

Sonny Gray gets the ball Saturday.

Extra innings …

-The Twins are now 64-59 and have extended their lead over the Cleveland Guardians by five games.

-Rookie Matt Wallner delivered another extra-base hit in Friday’s game, but he also exited early after he was hit in the hand by a pitch. I hope that his injury is no worse than the “contusion” that is being reported.

-Friday’s game was the third my son and I have seen this week. In my previous posts, I lamented the state of the Twins fan, who seemed to be unusually quiet during Tuesday’s win and Wednesday’s loss. Well, that was not the case on Friday. No surprise: the real fans sit in the 300-level seats. They were engaged, they were loud and there were a couple of guys who clearly had too much to drink. “Make a play!” they yelled at the guy who misplayed the foul ball. The welcome sounds of a baseball game.

-Kudos to the Twins for putting on the Star Wars-themed drone show after the game. It was pretty amazing and was capped by the drones forming a Twins’ “TC” in the night sky. Nicely done.

Some more photos from the game:




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.