July 4, 2024

At least there were fireworks after the game

Two Twins rookies had two completely different games on Wednesday.

Starter David Festa struck out six batters with no walks over five innings. The only problem is he allowed seven runs on nine hits, including a solo home run, a two-run shot and a grand slam that ultimately handed the Detroit Tigers a 9-2 win.

More encouraging was the major league debut of top prospect Brooks Lee, who got the call to replace the oft-injured Royce Lewis. Lewis has strained a muscle near his right groin and has landed on the 10-day injured list, according to MLB.com.

Lee, who played at third base on Wednesday, was the 8th overall pick of the Twins in 2022. He then proceeded to storm his way through the minor leagues, finally slashing .329/.394/.635 with 28 hits, including seven home runs, across 20 games at Triple-A St. Paul.

Lee struck out in his first at bat — a called strike, that is — then followed that with two singles and an RBI. Welcome to the show, Brooks.

Bailey Ober gets the ball Thursday against struggling ex-Twin Kenta Maeda who is 2-4 with a 5.76 ERA. I have my doubts about whether this game will be played, though, because stormy weather is in the forecast for the area.

Extra innings…

-Lee drove in a run, but who was responsible for the other Twins run? Catcher Christian Vazquez, who homered.

-On July 5, 1969, the Twins routed the Oakland A’s, as they seemed to do quite often in those years, by a score of 13-1 at the Met. The Twins banged out 16 hits. Rod Carew tripled, Tony Oliva had four hits and Harmon Killebrew launched two dingers and drove in six runs.

But what caught the attention of sports writers was the one run scored by the A’s, the result of a mammoth Reggie Jackson home run.

The Minneapolis Tribune

“Reggie Jackson hit the longest right-field home run in the history of Metropolitan Stadium Saturday, but Harmon Killebrew and the Twins came back to take a 13-1 victory over Oakland and move into undisputed possession of first place in the American League’s Western Division.

“Jackson’s 450-foot home run, which hit a beer advertisement approximately 55 feet above ground on the scoreboard, accounted for the only run off Twins starter Jim Perry, who yielded only four singles the rest of the way.”

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.