The Minnesota Twins got into a pitching battle with the Miami Marlins, but the performance of Buxton and Sano led them to victory.
The Minnesota Twins opened a three-game series against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night with rumors swirling around them ahead of the MLB trade deadline. While the Twins didn’t make a move during the course of the game on Tuesday, it was two players that began the day as rumored trade chips that would help lead them to victory.
After the Twins got off to a slow start offensively, Byron Buxton would make up for an error in the bottom of the second with his tenth home run of the season to give the Twins an early lead. The bomb by Buxton made it 11 players on the Twins roster with 10+ home runs in a season, a mark that is a new franchise record.
The following inning, the Twins would expand upon their lead when Miguel Sano stepped to the plate and delivered an RBI double that would knock in Eddie Rosario to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. It was the latest big hit in Sano’s turnaround, who is now hitting .326 since seeing his average drop to .195 on June 27.
With a 2-0 lead in his back pocket, starter Jake Odorizzi would cough up a run on an RBI double by Curtis Granderson in the fourth inning, but that would be all the Marlins could get off the right-hander. Odorizzi had a solid start allowing one run on four hits, a walk, and five strikeouts, but couldn’t get past the sixth inning after throwing 103 pitches.
That opened the door for a strong night from the Twins bullpen where Tyler Duffey threw 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief with two strikeouts and new acquisition Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless eighth inning to set up Taylor Rogers. The lefty would make short work of the Marlins in the ninth to earn his 16th save of the season and secure the 2-1 victory.
With the Cleveland Indians losing to the Houston Astros earlier in the night, the Twins were able to expand their lead in the American League Central to three games. The Indians may have had the last laugh on the night, however, as they shipped out Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati as part of a three-team deal that saw them acquire Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig and San Diego outfielder Franmil Reyes.
Such a move will put pressure on the Twins to make a move before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. CT trade deadline and will create an interesting dynamic for the second game of the series. The Twins will send Jose Berrios (9-5, 2.94 ERA) to the mound against the Marlins who will throw Sandy Alcantara (4-9, 4.18 ERA) for the 6:10 p.m. CT start.