June 24, 2024

Lopez, Buxton do it all in Twins win over A’s

Byron Buxton drove in two runs with a home run and double and that was all the offense starting pitcher Pablo Lopez really needed on Sunday as he struck out 14 batters across eight innings in a 3-0 win and series win over the Oakland A’s.

The 14 whiffs matched a career high for Lopez, who improved to 7-6 and trimmed his ERA to 5.11, down from 5.63.

Lopez blanked the A’s on two hits. He was followed by reliever Griffin Jax who closed out the ninth inning on 16 pitches to pick up his seventh save.

“I think it wakes up the monster, you know, the monster that he is,” said catcher Christian Vázquez about Lopez to MLB.com. “He’s a very, very great pitcher that’s had some bad outings. I think that’s going to wake him up, and I hope he’s just on cruise control from now on forward.”

The Twins, 43-35, are beginning to put a lock on second place in the division. The Twins remain 7.5 games back of the Guardians, but they are 1.5 games up on the Royals for that second spot. They stay on the road to face the Snakes and M’s this week. Joe Ryan gets the ball Tuesday.

Extra innings…

-On June 24, 1955, Harmon Killebrew hit his first major league home run, a fifth inning shot to deep left field at Griffith Stadium that did little to alter the final score. The Senators were blasted 18-7 by the Detroit Tigers.

The (Washington, D.C.) Evening Star on the game.

“The Senators may be chin deep in weeds, but way over yonder they believe they spy a couple of roses. That sweet scent, however faint, is drifting their way as the result of welcome hitting by a pair of bonus youngsters, Harmon Killebrew and Jerry Schoonmaker.

“The hapless Washington club lost again last night, of course, this time by the rather emphatic score of 18-7, but wedged into that walloping by the Detroit Tigers before 4,188 of the faithful at Griffith Stadium might have been a faint ray of hope for the future. Nobody is accusing Killebrew of being a third-baseman at this point. In fact, when the sturdy Idahoan came to bat in the fifth inning he was being hooted for deficiencies afield. But Harmon quickly learned a method of winning friends.

“He boomed a mighty home run 24 rows up in the 34-row bleachers in left field. It served merely to reduce the Senators’ deficit 13-1 at the time, but it also served notice that the 19-year-old boy has the power if and when he catches up with major league pitching.”

Sources: MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com

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.