Minnesota Twins: Suzuki’s Career Night Sinks Phillies

Jun 21, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) hits a two run double in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki (8) hits a two run double in the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

As most of the season has gone, the Minnesota Twins found themselves in an early hole, fought back to take the lead and then found themselves in yet another close race after allowing their opponent to get back into the game.

Yes, this seems to be the recipe for most of the Minnesota Twins’ season but on Tuesday, it just so happened to be against the Philadelphia Phillies who have ran into equally turbulent times.

In the end though it was the Vikings beating the Eagles…excuse me, the Twins (22-48) beating the Phillies (30-42) by a football-esque score of 14-10.

After starter Tyler Duffey allowed the Phillies to score an early run, the Twins rebounded with four runs in their portion of the first with the exclamation point coming off a two-run triple by Trevor Plouffe.

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The Phillies regained the lead off Duffey with a pair of two-run home runs off the bats of Peter Bourjos and Tommy Joseph.

Cameron Rupp followed Joseph’s homer with a solo shot of his own to make it 6-4.

That’s when the Minnesota Twins’ offense came back to life and directly on cue, regained the lead.

Kurt Suzuki tied things up with a two-run double, Byron Buxton gave the Twins the lead with a sacrifice fly to left and Suzuki came around to score on a throwing error by Freddy Galvis.

Suzuki came up big once again in the fifth with a two-run home run of his own to make it 10-6 while Robbie Grossman came around to score on a triple by Brian Dozier.

And what an important run that was.

Michael Tonkin had an easy seventh inning but struggled in the eighth, getting two outs but allowing four runs, capped off by a three-run blast off the bat of Maikel Franco.

The Twins added another run in the eighth when pinch hitter Eduardo Escobar drove in Joe Mauer on a sharp liner to right.

And then Suzuki, the man of the hour, drove in another pair of runs with a double to left, his fourth hit of the game.

Brandon Kintzler took it over from there and shut the door on the Phillies.

2. Final. 10. 6. 14

Totals:14 hits, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 home run. That’s what you need to do! The Minnesota Twins have seemingly  struggled all year long with their offense taking advantage of opposing teams’ struggling pitching. Kurt Suzuki was most definitely the man of the hour, collecting four hits, including a big two run home run in the sixth that extended the Twins’ lead to 10-6 and a two-run double in the ninth to make it 14-10. Suzuki would finish with six RBI’s, a career high and the Twins needed every one of them. Hopefully the Twins can keep this going offensively throughout this series as this is exactly what they’ll need heading into their weekend series with the New York Yankees. . . Kurt Suzuki. OFFENSE . A

. Tyler Duffey. STARTER . F. Totals: 3 innings, 7 hits allowed, 6 earned runs, 0 walks and 0 strikeouts. What is going on with Tyler Duffey? I really hope his struggles during Spring Training as well as during the regular season are no indication of things to come, especially following his stellar rookie campaign. No doubt the Minnesota Twins hold Duffey in high regard and probably view him as a potential future No. 2 or No. 3 starter but they’ll going to need to see better performance from him. The Twins gave Duffey a nice big lead but he subsequently almost blew it, allowing six earned runs over three innings.  

C+. Totals: 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts. It seems the bullpen performs better for the Minnesota Twins when the starter struggles and exits early. Sadly, this is becoming somewhat of a trend for the starters as Duffey lasted just three innings. Brandon Kintzler got a four-out save after Michael Tonkin almost blew a big lead for the Twins. Tonkin started off strong but struggled in the eighth, allowing a four runs, which cut the Twins’ lead to 11-10. Really, the rough grade is due in large part to Tonkin’s rough outing.  . . Brandon Kintzler. RELIEVERS

B. Brian Dozier made an error in the field, a small blemish on an otherwise very solid game for the Minnesota Twins’ second baseman who went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs and two RBI’s.  . . . DEFENSE

MVT: Kurt Suzuki

The Minnesota Twins will host Game Two of the interleague home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies and will send Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.06) to the mound. Philadelphia will counter with Adam Morgan (1-6, 6.49). First pitch is set for 7:10 P.M. CST at Target Field.

And if the ERA’s between the two starters is any indication, Game Two may also be a very fun, offense-heavy game to watch.

In other Twins news, MLB.com is reporting the club has signed first-round pick Alex Kirilloff for full slot value for the No. 15 pick.

Next: Twins/Phillies Preview

The Minnesota Twins have not yet confirmed it but if the news is true, it’s good to see the club being able to get the signing/negotiations out of the way so Kirilloff can focus on baseball.