The Minnesota Twins got a big boost from their struggling pitcher as he went seven scoreless innings in a victory over the Washington Nationals.
On almost all facets, the Minnesota Twins are reeling down the stretch. With Michael Pineda getting slapped with a 60-game suspension for PEDs and Byron Buxton being ruled out for the season after shoulder surgery, the rest of the Twins roster was pretty banged up as they opened a three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
With things trending in the opposite direction, the Twins got a spark from starter Jose Berrios, who put his recent struggles behind him and delivered the type of gem Minnesota will need down the stretch in a 5-0 victory over the Nationals at Target Field.
The opening to the game was a quick one as both Berrios and Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez were dominant, both carrying no-hit bids into the fifth inning. Although Berrios (7 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K) turned in a strong seven innings, Sanchez was just as good as the game remained scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh.
In that inning, the Twins would finally mount a rally as Eddie Rosario led off the inning with a double before Mitch Garver blasted his 30th home run of the season to give the Twins a 2-0 lead. Minnesota would take advantage of a weak Nationals bullpen from there, tacking on three runs in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a Polanco two-RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Ehire Adrianza to cap off the scoring for the Twins.
The bullpen would take care of things from there as Sergio Romo and Trevor May both threw scoreless innings to preserve the 5-0 win in the series opener. The win helped lower the Twins’ magic number in the AL Central to 13 before the Cleveland Indians played the Los Angeles Angels late on Tuesday night.
The Twins will go for the series win on Wednesday night when they send Martin Perez (10-6, 4.75 ERA) to battle Stephen Strasburg (16-6, 3.50 ERA). Wednesday’s game is scheduled for a first pitch of 6:40 p.m. CT.