September 5, 2023

The lead is 6 games after Twins gash Guards 20-6

The Twins unloaded on the Cleveland Guardians in Game 1 of a key three-game series Monday night, scoring nine runs on Guards starter Lucas Giolito, then hammering those who followed him for 11 more runs to bury the team from northeast Ohio by a score of 20-6.

It should be noted that seven of those 20 runs were allowed by backup catcher David Fry, who was called on by Cleveland manager Terry Francona to pitch four innings in an effort to spare the bullpen for the remainder of the series.

But before I get to Fry’s efforts on the mound, the Twins teed off on Giolito, racing out to a 9-1 lead with home runs from Jorge Polanco, Carlos Correa and rookie Royce Lewis, who hit another grand slam, his third this season and the fourth of his young career. Lewis had a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scored two runs and drove in six more.

Now, about Fry on the mound … it’s never pretty to see a position player throw batting practice, but that’s essentially what happened as Joey Gallo, Matt Wallner and Kyle Farmer were able to pad their personal stats with home runs. Gallo hit his 21st, Wallner his 11th and Farmer his ninth dinger in the rout.

That made an easy winner out of starter Pablo Lopez, who allowed only a run over six innings and improved to 10-7 with a 3.64 ERA. Sonny Gray gets the ball Tuesday.

Extra innings …

-The Twins’ lead in the AL Central is now six games. They are 72-66.

-Despite the blowout win, Twins relief pitcher Brent Headrick made a disappointing appearance. Handed a huge lead, he still labored over an inning of work by tossing 46 pitches.

Headrick allowed two runs on three hits, including a home run, walked a batter and hit two more, which nearly started World War III because the Cleveland dugout was not happy seeing their guys get plugged while down by such a large margin. The home plate umpire finally warned both benches. Payback is coming, Minnesota. I hope you’re ready.

-And then there was this …

“I don’t care who you are, nobody wants to go out and just get their brains beat out,” manager Terry Francona told “But he’s (Fry) strong enough mentally to just not overdo it and he won’t hurt himself. And now, hopefully, we have a chance to win tomorrow. And if we do, he sucked up a bunch of innings for us.”


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.