The Twins on Wednesday withstood a 14-strikeout effort from Reds starting pitcher Hunter Greene and then they went to work, down 2-0 through six innings.
They scored a run in the seventh inning, a run in the eighth and then three runs in the ninth, in part because the Twins put runners in scoring position with a rare double steal. The Reds then made a mistake.
They decided to walk Ryan Jeffers to face the Twins’ switch hitter Jorge Polanco, who got the chance to hit from the right side, his natural side, according to radio play-by-play voice Cory Provus. Polanco promptly banged a single through the infield and both runs scored to give the Twins a 5-3 win.
The win, combined with another Cleveland Guardians loss (the Guards were swept by the never-say-die Kansas City Royals), reduced the Twins magic number to one. The Twins are off today (Thursday) but can still clinch the division if both the Guards and Detroit Tigers lose Thursday night.
The Twins are 81-72 and have a nine-game lead on the Guards. The team is back in action and back home Friday to face the Angels. Pablo Lopez gets the ball.
Extra innings …
-Carlos Correa has landed on the 10-day injured list with foot pain, something he apparently has been dealing with all season, caused by plantar fasciitis.
-The Reds’ Christian Encarnacion-Strand, another former Twins prospect who was sent to Cincinnati in exchange for starting pitcher Tyler Mahle (currently sidelined by Tommy John surgery), homered in Wednesday’s game, his ninth.
-On Sept. 21, 1963, Harmon Killebrew hit four home runs in a doubleheader versus the Boston Red Sox.
The Minneapolis Sunday Tribune lede:
“Harmon Killebrew of the Twins hit four home runs Saturday — three in the first game and one in the second — to take the American League lead from Boston’s Dick Stuart, 44-42.”
The Boston Globe lede:
“The Red Sox split with the Minnesota Twins, losing the first game, 13 to 4, and winning the second, 11 to 2, at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon with 11 home runs flying through the raw air. Too bad these men are getting so weary.”
Advantage: Boston Globe.
Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com.