September 25, 2023

Twins get back on track, beat Halos 9-3 to take series

I guess all the Twins needed on Sunday was a 50-minute rain delay because once they retook the field they added to their 4-3 lead with a single, a double and two home runs, including Max Kepler’s team-leading 23rd dinger, to run away from the Angels, 9-3.

The Twins are again 10 games above .500 at 83-73.

On the mound, Joe Ryan made his 14th quality start of the season and improved to 11-10 with a 4.31 ERA. He allowed three runs over six innings with 10 strikeouts. The bullpen added six more whiffs to give the Twins’ staff 16 on the day.

Pitcher Chris Paddack, who the Twins traded to get from the San Diego Padres in 2022, was set to return to the mound on Sunday after recovering from Tommy John surgery. However, it appears that the game was either delayed before he emerged from the bullpen or as he took the mound. Either way, he’ll have to wait for another day.

The Twins are back in action Tuesday against the Oakland A’s. Bailey Ober gets the ball.

Extra innings …

-The Twins are 45-33 at Target Field.

-Among those getting hits on Sunday was Oregon State man Trevor Larnach. He had a hit, 2 RBI and a walk.

-The Reds on Saturday raced out to a 9-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the Bucs didn’t roll over and call it good. Instead, the Pirates rallied for a 13-12 win. Former Twins prospects Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand, both now with the Reds, went 6-for-10 at the plate with three runs scored and five RBI in that game. Sigh.

-The 102-loss Kansas City Royals continue to be the team nobody wants to face because the Royals on Sunday completed a sweep of the Houston Astros in Houston. The Royals are 13-8 this month.

-A funny conversation — or at least one that made me chuckle — unfolded between Twins radio guys Cory Provus and Dan Gladden on Sunday.

Provus pointed out that if the AL West race goes down to the wire, those teams likely will have to use their best pitchers before postseason play begins, and that could help the Twins, he said.

Gladden, however, didn’t think that would be much of a factor because the best teams have deep pitching staffs, including the Twins.

“It’s not just 1-2 and then Les Straker,” said Gladden, referring to the Twins’ 1987 rotation.

The big dogs in the rotation that season were Frank Viola (17 wins) and Bert Blyleven (15 wins). Straker was 8-10 with a 4.37 ERA.

Also in 1987, the Twins lost their five final games of the season after clinching the division.

The Star Tribune lede after the fourth loss:

“It’s like a symphony orchestra getting a little work by playing bad rock songs. The Twins might be fine-tuning a few rough edges these days, but the process doesn’t look or sound very inspired.”

The Kansas City Star lede:

“Charlie Liebrandt had the satisfaction of finishing with a victory, removing some of the embarrassment and pain from his last start. Danny Tartabull had a round-the-bases thrill that put him in a rare place in the Royals’ hitting archives.”

Advantage: Tribune.



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.