The Minnesota Twins ace put forth a dominant performance as they clinched a series victory over the last-place Miami Marlins.
Although the Minnesota Twins made a pair of moves to bolster their bullpen before Wednesday’s MLB trade deadline, there was a large group of fans who wanted to see an addition to the starting rotation.
With the Twins starters slipping in recent weeks, some thought that adding an ace at the deadline (like the Houston Astros did) would solidify the team’s run toward the postseason. On Wednesday night, Jose Berrios sent a message to that group of fans:
He is that ace.
The right-hander put forth one of his most dominant performances of the year in a 7-4 victory that helped ensure the Twins will take at least two out of three games from the Miami Marlins. Berrios sat down the first 12 Marlins to start the game and racked up a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings to let the Bomba Squad do what they do best.
After squandering a first-inning rally against Sandy Alcantara, the Twins would strike in the top of the third when Mitch Garver would hit his 20th home run of the season to give the Twins a 3-0 lead. The Twins would add on in the fifth when Max Kepler would hit his 29th home run of the year and Eddie Rosario would hit a no-doubt, two-run homer for his 23rd of the season. Jonathan Schoop would add a RBI single to expand the lead to 7-0 after five innings.
Berrios would throw just 81 pitches in his seven innings, but Rocco Baldelli would turn to the bullpen from there. Sean Poppen would throw a 1-2-3 eighth inning but would struggle in the ninth while giving up a grand slam to Brian Anderson to make the Twins sweat. Taylor Rogers would come in after Poppen settled down to get an out and strike out the final two batters to preserve the fifth win in the past six games for the Twins.
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The Twins will look to pick up the sweep tomorrow afternoon as they will send Michael Pineda (7-5, 4.30 ERA) to the mound opposite Jordan Yamamoto (4-2, 3.64 ERA). Pineda has been strong for the Twins lately as he’s posted a 3-2 record with a 3.26 ERA and 56 strikeouts to 11 walks in 58 innings and Minnesota has gone 7-3 in those starts. The series finale will start at 11:10 a.m. CT on Thursday.