The Minnesota Twins got a chance to use their recently acquired reliever on Thursday and for one afternoon, he fit right in with the bullpen’s struggles.
Coming off the heels of a quiet deadline league-wide, the Minnesota Twins played their series finale on Thursday afternoon. While the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians got better with external moves, the Twins gambled on their current roster just needing a few tweaks and after the last-minute addition of Sam Dyson, the right-hander would make his debut as the Twins held a ninth-inning lead.
Any celebration the Twins had for their new reliever was quickly brought to a halt as the Marlins would put together a three-run ninth inning to tie the game and Harold Ramirez would hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th to propel the Marlins over the Twins by a score of 5-4.
For eight and a half innings, the Twins played a game that was worthy of being placed in the win column. Max Kepler would hit a leadoff home run, his 30th of the season, to get the Twins on the board early and after Ramirez would collect an RBI triple in the bottom of the second, Byron Buxton would answer in the top of the third with a two-RBI triple to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.
Staked to an early lead, Michael Pineda continued his recent string of quality starts. The right-hander threw six innings allowing one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out three to give the Twins a great chance to win this game.
When a fifth-inning sacrifice fly by Eddie Rosario gave the Twins a 4-1 lead, the Twins were able to calm things down thanks to holds by Tyler Duffey and Sergio Romo before they had Dyson make his Twins debut.
Things went south from there as Dyson immediately loaded the bases and allowed a run before manager Rocco Baldelli was forced to use Taylor Rogers for the third straight day. A two-RBI single by Neil Walker would bleed through the infield to tie the game, but Rogers would get out of it with a pair of strikeouts to send the game into extra innings.
Ryne Harper would throw a scoreless 10th inning and Cody Stashak would follow suit in the 11th, but he would also allow Ramirez’s walk-off bomb to seal the Twins fate in a game they should have won handily.
The Twins will hope that this game was a misnomer for Dyson as they head into an important homestand beginning with a weekend series with the Kansas City Royals. In Friday’s opener, the Twins will send Martin Perez (8-4, 4.38 ERA) to the mound to take on Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.25 ERA).