Minnesota Twins postgame: Polanco’s double completes Twins rally over Cleveland
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins fell into an early hole, but their offense battled back with to help them take the opener over the Cleveland Indians.
The Minnesota Twins came into Friday night with a gigantic series looming against the Cleveland Indians. With Cleveland cutting the Twins lead into the American League Central, Friday’s opener was a good chance to set the tone for the weekend and put more pressure on the Indians as they looked to catch the Twins in the standings.
Things didn’t look good early with a rough start from Kyle Gibson, but the Twins would rally back and after several squandered opportunities, they would stage a rally in the seventh inning to take a 5-3 win in the opener in Cleveland on Friday night.
Twin Takeaways – The Good
The Twins made sure their bats traveled to Cleveland and got things started early when Nelson Cruz hit his 17th home run of the season to give the Twins an early lead. After Gibson imploded in the third inning, Minnesota would have its opportunities, but just couldn’t drive anybody in to stage a comeback.
The Twins would finally strike in the top of the seventh when Max Kepler would come up with runners on first and third with two outs. Kepler would pound the ball to Francisco Lindor and was initially called out, but after a review, he was called safe and Miguel Sano scored to make it a 3-2 game. Jorge Polanco would come up next and blast a double over the head of Oscar Mercado to give the Twins a 4-3 lead and complete the rally.
Mitch Garver would hit his 14th home run of the season in the top of the ninth for insurance and Taylor Rogers would earn his 13th save of the year to help secure the victory.
Twin Takeaways – The Bad
The one negative in this game was the performance of starter Kyle Gibson. While Gibson flew through the first three innings, things seemed to come unraveled after a solo home run to Carlos Santana in the top of the third. From there, Gibson seemed to lose his confidence and allowed the Indians to take the lead on a two-RBI single by Roberto Perez.
Gibson would be unable to get out of the fourth inning in a game the Twins needed him to perform and that raises questions about the veteran going forward. If the Twins weren’t thinking about upgrading their rotation prior to this game, they might be thinking about it now.
The Twins and Indians will square off in the second game of this series on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:10 CT. The Twins will send All-Star selection Jake Odorizzi to the mound, who will be making his first start since being placed on the injured list after a July 2 loss to Oakland.
The Indians will counter with Trevor Bauer, who has faced the Twins twice this season posting a record of 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA, but has been dominant, holding a 0.66 WHIP in two starts.