April 14, 2024

Signs of life as Twins take 2 from Tigers

A seven-run inning and a solid start from a rookie pitcher helped the Twins put together back to back wins on Saturday in a doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

The Twins have gone from a potentially disconcerting 4-9 record to a much more encouraging 6-7 mark heading into the series finale on Sunday.

In Game 1, the Twins looked like the weak-hitting Twins for most of it until they exploded for seven runs in the top of the 12th inning. They got a key hit from Ryan Jeffers, but the Twins also received a huge gift from the Tigers as Detroit third baseman Zach McKinstry let that ball get between his legs for a bases-clearing single.

With the game out of hand and one more to play, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch then called on McKinstry to pitch the final frame of the game. The Twins’ slumping Matt Wallner took advantage of the moment by hitting a three-run bomb in the 11-5 win.

In Game 2, rookie pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson allowed only a run over six innings and was backed by key hits from Eddie Julien and Willi Castro to edge the Tigers 4-1.

Woods Richardson allowed only two hits and struck out five to earn his first win. Bailey Ober gets the ball Sunday.

Extra innings…

-The Game 1 pitching victory went to reliever Jorge Alcala, but it really belonged to starter Joe Ryan, who struck out a career-high 12 over six innings and had nothing to show for it. Ryan allowed three runs, but only one run was earned because of a first-inning throwing error by Jose Miranda at third base.

-That was the extent of the error-inflicted punishment for Ryan, but not for Tigers reliever Alex Lange, who took the mound for the Tigers during the disastrous 12th inning. Lange’s line: five runs allowed in two-thirds of an inning, but none of those runs were earned because of the ball McKinstry lost between the wickets.

-It’s nice to see the Twins finally get a little production out of the two players — Austin Martin and Woods Richardson — that the club received in exchange for pitcher Jose Berrios. Simeon won on Saturday, of course, and Martin so far has three hits in the series.

-The feel-good story of Michael Tonkin’s return to the Twins is over after the Twins designated him for assignment or release following his Friday appearance in the team’s 8-2 loss to the Tigers.

Nobody looked good in that game, including Tonkin. Although he struck out five hitters, he still needed 48 pitches to get through two innings with two walks and two runs allowed.

-The other bad news is Carlos Correa has landed on the 10-day injured list with a right intercostal strain, according to MLB.com. So with Tonkin out and Correa hurt, the Twins have called up catcher Jair Camargo and Princeton man Matt Bowman.

COMMENTS

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.