Minnesota Twins Game Grades in 5-4 Win Over Seattle
Minnesota Twins Hold on For Sweep Over a Team on the Road.
Jimmy Buffett once sang, “Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes”. For the 2016 Minnesota Twins, maybe it just took a change in longitude to get this team on the winning track. Twins have now won 4 games in a row for the second time this season.
The Twins were facing three good pitchers, including two exceptional pitchers book-ending the 3 games series, on the road. So far this year, this combination has led to a sweep. It did once again, though this time in Minnesota’s favor.
With Ricky Nolasco going opposite the hot hand of Taijuan Walker, and Seattle’s Robinson Cano getting a first inning home run, it looked to be a long day for the Minnesota Nine. Instead, they fought fire with fire.
More from Puckett's Pond
- Minnesota Twins: You Spin Me Right Round, Right Round
- Minnesota Twins: What happens next at Shortstop?
- Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ Joey Gallo signing
- Minnesota Twins: 4 Possible Trade Chips not named Kepler or Arraez
- Minnesota Twins: After missing out on Correa, what comes next?
After Cano’s blast, Robbie Grossman quickly tied it in the top of the 2nd inning with one of his own. In just 9 games, Grossman has helped propel the Twins to their best offensive production, hitting .357 with 2 HR and 8 RBI. Minnesota (15-34) is 5-4 since inserting Grossman into the lineup, including the current four game winning streak.
Some poor defense by Miguel Sano and a Nolasco wild pitch contributed to the Mariners’ second run, and it was 2-1 Seattle when the Twins came to the plate in the 4th inning.
Back-to-back home runs by Joe Mauer and Sano, who each homered in every game of the series, followed later by a run-scoring double by Juan Centeno with two outs, scored three runs to put the Twins on top, 4-2.
In the next inning, Grossman looked to have grounded into a double play, but a good jump by Sano at first base allowed him to beat the ball to the second baseman, forcing Cano to record only the out at first, and letting the 5th (and game-winning) run score.
Nolasco threw well, getting ahead and collecting strikeouts with his breaking pitches. Nolasco (2-5) became the second Twins’ starter to earn his second win of the season in the past 4 days.
Trevor May and Fernando Abad were able to enter innings as scheduled, and each only allowed a single baserunner in their innings of work.
In the 9th, Kevin Jepsen again made it interesting. Coming on in a save situation, the 3-run lead quickly shrunk as Franklin Gutierrez homered with a runner on. Luckily, an earlier double play erased one runner, and that proved the difference as Jepsen finally struck out Dae-Ho Lee to end the game.
Next: Crazy Ending in Twins Win
MVT: Robbie Grossman
The Twins will face the Oakland A’s tomorrow afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum on Memorial Day. First pitch is at 3:05 CDT. Ervin Santana (1-3, 4.17 ERA) will get the start the Twins. The game will be broadcast on ESPN as part of their all-day holiday baseball coverage.