Slugger Nelson Cruz left the game in the middle of an at-bat as the Minnesota Twins fell to the Cleveland Indians by a score of 7-5.
The Minnesota Twins kicked off the biggest series of the year thus far as they face the Indians at home in a 4-game series. Kyle Gibson got the start against Mike Clevinger and couldn’t find the strike zone during his brief 4.1 innings pitched. Gibson struggled to the tune of 6 walks and 5 earned-runs as he was all over the place with his location.
Unfortunately the actual L in the loss column may not be the biggest loss on the night as DH Nelson Cruz left his at-bat with a wrist injury. To say Cruz has been hot lately would be an understatement.
Twin Takeaway – The good
Yet again, the offense held up their end of the bargain. Though majority of the runs didn’t come until later in the contest, they still managed to push 5 across the plate with only 6 hits against a solid pitching staff. Luis Arraez continues to prove his ability to hit at the highest level with a 2 for 3 performance while raising his average to .353 on the season. He continues to be one of the best on-base hitters the Minnesota Twins have.
Arraez and Marwin Gonzalez provided the run support early in the game with back to back singles each of which drove in a run. Later, a Jorge Polanco double, Eddie Rosario fielder’s choice, and Miguel Sano double, drove in the remainder of the Minnesota Twins runs in the bottom of the 8th.
Twin Takeaway – The not-so-good
After a wonderful and furious comeback in the bottom of the 8th inning, Trevor May spoiled the fun as he gave up a second pitch solo-blast to Tyler Naquin in the top of the 9th. Trailing 7-5 the Twinkies tried to continue their comeback in the bottom of the 9th only to fall short of producing a much-needed base-knock with RISP. The pitching staff was in shambles tonight from start to finish as Gibby, Zack Littell, and May each struggled in their time on the mound.
Ryne Harper was the lone bright spot for the Twins pitching staff as he threw a scoreless 8th inning. Though I’d love the rumors of Brusdar Graterols potential call-up to be true, it also reminds me of how rough the Twins pitching staff truly is. The front office is thinking of calling up a top prospect that’s fresh off of an injury to try to pitch innings out of the bullpen. Graterol would be approximately the 50th Twins minor league starter to be moved to the pen in the majors this year.
The Minnesota Twins continue to play host to the Indians tomorrow evening as rookie Devin Smeltzer will face off against Cleveland All-Star Shane Bieber. Win or lose, if the pitching staff can hold the Indians to under 5 runs, I’d consider that a victory. Gotta start somewhere. Go Twinkies.