The Twins have outscored the woeful Chicago White Sox 20-4 over the past two games, and you can thank a handful of rookies who continue to deliver for this team.
And nobody has been bigger than Royce Lewis, who hit another grand slam in the Twins’ 10-2 win on Friday. It was his fourth grand slam this season, the fifth of his young career, and his 14th dinger of 2023. But it didn’t stop there. Matt Wallner contributed two hits to the cause and Louie Varland followed starter Bailey Ober by striking out four batters over two innings on 29 pitches. He enters a game and doesn’t mess around.
The rookies stepped up on Thursday as well, with Eddie Julien and Lewis connecting for home runs and Wallner again delivered two hits.
The Twins go for the series win on Saturday. Pablo Lopez gets the ball.
Extra innings …
-The Twins are 78-70 and continue to lead the Cleveland Guardians by eight games.
-Boy, the White Sox are bad. They coughed up four unearned runs in Thursday’s loss, then on Friday it only seemed to get worse. Shortstop Tim Anderson misplayed a pop up in short left field that fell for a hit and second baseman Elvis Andrus forgot how many outs there were early in the game.
Andrus fielded a grounder with the Twins’ Carlos Correa running from first base to second base, but rather than tag Correa for a potential double play, Andrus casually threw the ball to first base thinking it was the third out. Unfortunately, it was only the second out of the inning. This is what happens to a team that has lost 92 games.
-The Twins are 8-3 versus the Sox this season. However, the Twins finished 1-5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, which might be a problem if the two teams face off during postseason play.
-Friday night was a good night to be a Twin or an ex-Twin. The Blue Jays’ Jose Berrios five-hit the Boston Red Sox to keep the Jays in the hunt with a 3-0 win. He struck out eight over seven innings and is now 11-10 with a 3.49 ERA.
And Luis Arraez, the best pure hitter in the game, smashed two home runs to help the Marlins down the Atlanta Braves, 9-6. Arraez is hitting .350. It still stings to see how well he is playing and to think he once played for the Twins.