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Vance Worley Struggles, Minnesota Twins Score Six Unanswered to Win


Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago at this time I was firmly on the Vance Worley bandwagon. I don’t deny it and you shouldn’t either. I know you were on the bandwagon, because you were sitting right beside me. I don’t even see that bandwagon on the horizon anymore and I hope that you don’t see it either, my friend.

The Vanimal took the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday and it didn’t really take too long for him to leave the mound. Before I illustrate too much, let’s look at this tweet from Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press.

Worley pitched 1.1 innings while giving up seven hits and a walk. The scoring started in the bottom of the first for the Pirates after loading the bases they hit a groundball shot right up the middle that scored two runs. Pittsburgh loaded the bases again and scored one on a play where second baseman Brian Dozier had to dive just to keep the ball in the infield. All of that scoring happened with two outs and that’s only the first inning.

Worley came on in the second inning, getting one out before giving up a double to Russell Martin which was followed up by a Andrew McCutchen two-run bomb. Worley in the fight for the fifth spot gave up five runs in just a little over an inning, does nothing good for his chances to grab that final spot in the rotation. Worley’s spring ERA now sits at 10.38.

The Twins would trade zeroes until the seventh inning when Pittsburgh got butterfingers. There was one out and runners on first and second for the Twins in the seventh inning when Wilkin Ramirez hit a groundball to short for an easy double-play, but the second baseman dropped the ball, everyone was safe and it scored a run.

Next batter was Max Kepler who also almost grounded into a double play. Kepler hit a grounder to second, who flipped it over to the shortstop covering who proceed to throw it past the first baseman which allowed another Twins run. Danny Santana hit an RBI double to add the third Twins run in the inning.

The Twins added to their total the very next inning. Chris Colabello started the rally with a ground-rule double and scored on a Brandon Waring single to right. Deibinson Romero hit a sharp double to left which got the slow-running Waring to third and then he bases were loaded when Dan Rohlfing was hit by a pitch. The Twins tied it up on a bloop single to left off of the bat of Max Kepler, before hitting into a double-play to end the inning.

After Aaron Thompson held the Pirates scoreless in the bottom of the eighth, the Twins took to it again in the top of the ninth. The first two Twins batters went down in order, but Jorge Polanco hit a double to right to keep the Twins half of the inning alive. Chris Colabello came up and knocked Polanco in on a liner to center, giving the Twins the lead and Colabello his third hit of the game (3-for-3, two doubles and the go ahead RBI single).

Brooks Raley came in and shut the door. Allowing only one base-runner in the ninth.

Other than Worley, the Twins pitching was impressive on Friday. No one gave up more than two hits; Kris Johnson struck out two while Sean Gilmartin struck out three.

Pitching for the Twins on Friday was Vance Worley (1.1 IP), Kris Johnson (1.2 IP), Ryan Pressly (1 IP), Matt Hoffman (1 IP), Sean Gilmartin (2 IP), Aaron Thompson (1 IP) and Brooks Raley (1 IP).

The Twins also played a ‘B’ game on Friday morning. The game ended in a 3-3 tie, featuring a nice outing from Kevin Correia and homers from Eduardo Escobar and Jermaine Mitchell. (Here’s the game story from the Twins official site)

Twins play again on Saturday traveling to play the Toronto Blue Jays, game time is noon central.