July 6, 2024

Twins’ Miranda stays hot, Astros even hotter (sort of)

It appeared the rout was official after the Houston Astros took a 13-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning at Target Field on Friday. But then the Twins staged the mother of all rallies by scoring seven runs, including a Carlos Correa grand slam off flame-throwing closer Josh Hader.

That made it 13-12 and the game would end that way after Manuel Margot struck out, one of two whiffs for him after he pinch hit for Trevor Larnach earlier in the game.

Houston came into this series hot and stayed that way, taking an early 3-0 lead over the Twins. Minnesota bounced back with four runs of their own, and then Twins pitching completely fell apart. No one pitched well on Friday.

Pablo Lopez, so sharp in his two previous starts, allowed six runs on eight hits across five innings to fall to 8-7 with a 5.16 ERA. He was followed by relievers Josh Winder and Kody Funderburk who weren’t much better. To be fair to Winder, he had to suffer through a Margot error in left field. Still, he allowed three earned runs on five hits over two innings, and Funderburk coughed up three more runs in just an inning of work.

Joe Ryan gets the ball Saturday.

Extra innings…

-Friday’s dramatic ending did not overshadow Jose Miranda’s accomplishment, who set a new team record by collecting his 10th straight hit, including a 9-for-9 performance over the past two games.

Hall of Famer Tony Oliva set the previous record in 1967 and it was matched by Mickey Hatcher in 1985 and Todd Walker in 1998, according to the Associated Press.

-Miranda also hit a home run, the 23rd straight game in which the Twins have hit a dinger.

-The Twins cranked out 17 hits in the loss. The big dog, of course, was Miranda, but Max Kepler had three hits and Byron Buxton and Christian Vazquez each had two apiece.

-You know who else had three hits? Rookie third baseman Brooks Lee, who if I’m not mistaken, appears to be the real deal. Among the hits was a double. He also scored a run and drove in two more. Not bad for a guy who has played in a grand total of three major league games.

-We enjoyed our seats on Friday. Although they were in the 300 level, we still had an excellent view of the field from the first base side of the diamond. Even better was listening to the guy sitting up higher behind us. When the Astros began to pour on the runs, the Target Field crowd got very quiet, but not that guy. He would not let up and continued to scream and shout his support for the Twins. Well done, sir.

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.