Minnesota Twins: Close But No Cigar
It was an old school pitcher’s duel at Target Field on Friday night as the Minnesota Twins opened a four-game Independence Day weekend tilt with arguably the best team in baseball; the Texas Rangers.
Ervin Santana pitched 6 1/3 innings of strong work but allowed two runs before exiting the game.
Despite a comeback attempt led by Trevor Plouffe, the bullpen faltered in the 10th when Fernando Abad allowed a solo home run to Ian Desmond to give the Rangers (52-29) a 3-2 win.
The rejuvenated Jurickson Profar stepped in delivered a pinch hit two-run single that gave the Rangers a brief 2-0 lead over the Minnesota Twins (25-54).
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Texas’ lead only lasted for half an inning as Plouffe connected with a two-run home run, one of his three hits on the night.
From there it was a battle of the bullpens with both teams trading barbs in the subsequent innings.
Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler each tossed scoreless innings before the Rangers finally broke the tie with Desmond’s blast off Abad.
Overall, the Minnesota Twins struggled offensively with the top-three hitters going 0-for-10. Miguel Sano, who returned to the active roster after being on the Disabled List, went 0-for-3.
Really, a loss like this has been the story of the season for the Minnesota Twins.
Close but no cigar.
It will be an interesting storyline to see if the likes of Tyler Duffey and Kyle Gibson can follow up their previous quality starts with equally successful outings.
MVT(s): Trevor Plouffe
Duffey (3-6, 5.59) will try to prove his impressive start on Sunday against the New York Yankees wasn’t a fluke when he gets the ball for the Minnesota Twins on Saturday. He’ll face off against Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-0, 9.00), who should be competing with Mookie Betts for the best current name in baseball. Game time is scheduled for 1:10 PM CST at Target Field.
Also of note, with Sano’s return, the Minnesota Twins sent struggling slugger Byung-ho Park to the minors. The hope is he will be able to once again find his swing and regain some much needed confidence.
Let’s hope so, the upside for Park is still there and it’s also fun to see homers like this one hit.
But call me biased because I was sitting field level on the home dugout side when he hit that one.