May 28, 2024

Twins escape with Game 1 win over Royals

Two key home runs and a stellar performance from Joe Ryan gave the Twins a 6-1 lead going into the ninth inning of Game 1 of a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

And then the Twins bullpen made things very interesting.

Cole Sands secured two outs but also gave up three runs in the process, so rather than having Sands close out the game with two innings pitched, manager Rocco Baldelli was forced to call on Jhoan Duran to get the save.

Duran hit a batter to load the bases, served up a cheap infield hit to make it 6-4, then infielder Willi Castro, trying to make a play on another slow roller, fielded the ball and threw wide of first base to make it 6-5 Twins with Royals’ star Bobby Witt, Jr., coming to the plate. This time, though, Duran induced another grounder and tossed to first base to get the final out of the ballgame.

Ryan was spectacular, allowing just a run over seven innings with nine strikeouts. He is now 4-3 and has lowered his ERA to 2.96. He was backed by a two-run home run from Jose Miranda and a three-run blast from Oregon State man Trevor Larnach.

Simeon Woods Richardson gets the ball Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-There was a funny moment in the radio booth on Monday when lead voice Kris Atteberry, who shares radio duties with ex-Twin Dan Gladden, turned to him and asked: “If the curve ball is Uncle Charlie, what’s the sweeper? Aunt Louise?”

Gladden: “I’m still trying to figure out what it is.”

I feel you, Danny.

The other day I wrote about a 1951 game in which the Washington Senators/Nationals were clobbered by Bob Feller and the Cleveland Indians, 16-0.

Well, it happened again to the Sens/Nats, and not too long after that prior defeat. On May 27, 1955, the Sens/Nats were hammered by the Boston Red Sox by the same score. Here’s how the local press covered it.

The Boston Globe:

“Norm Zauchin, Red Sox first baseman whose bat had previously resembled a pop gun, suddenly found he was aiming a cannon last night as he put on a tremendous batting display with three homers, a double and 10 runs-batted-in as the Red Sox leveled the Washington Nationals, 16 to 0.”

The (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star:

“There was a time, even when the Senators were getting their daily defeat, when Manager Chuck Dressen could point with pride to a proficient but unharmed pitching staff. That was when they were losing the close ones. Now the outlook is bleak all along the lineup. If Camilo Pascual gets by the first inning today against the Boston Red Sox without yielding a run, Dressen will recommend the young Cuban for a medal. In five straight games the Senators’ starters have permitted at least one run in the first frame, giving up a total of 12 in that inning alone over that span.”

Pascual didn’t get the win the next day, but he did get the start and for some reason was pulled after only two-plus innings of work. Mickey McDermott followed him and gave the Sens six-plus innings of relief to beat the Red Sox, 5-3, on May 28, 1955.


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.