Didi Gregorius’ grand slam sends Minnesota Twins to the verge of elimination
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins’ postseason hangs by a thread after the New York Yankees used a seven-run inning to put the Twins in a 2-0 hole in the ALDS.
In the opener of the American League Divisional Series, the Minnesota Twins got off to a good start, but let Game 1 get away with a couple of squandered opportunities and a bad performance by their bullpen. While the 10-4 loss to the New York Yankees stung, they still had an opportunity to even things up in Game 2 and have a chance to close things out when they returned to Minnesota.
Instead, the Twins went out and had another difficult inning as the Yankees used a seven-run third inning to claim an 8-2 victory and put the Twins on the brink of elimination.
Unlike Game 1, the Twins couldn’t even get on the board as Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant against the Bomba Squad with five innings of work allowing one run on three hits and a walk while striking out seven. With the Twins having another undisciplined night at the plate, the Yankees would take advantage, scoring an early run off Randy Dobnak courtesy of an Edwin Encarnacion single.
After the two teams exchanged a scoreless second inning, Dobnak ran into trouble in the third inning, loading the bases before Rocco Baldelli went to Tyler Duffey. After Duffey had been strong to close the season, he has struggled lately allowing two runs to score on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly and a Gleybar Torres single to set the stage for Didi Gregorius.
As the Yankees’ shortstop has become one of the biggest foils in recent Twins history, he continued that legacy by delivering a back-breaking grand slam around the right field foul pole to put the Twins down 7-0.
The blast seemed to signal the end for the Twins even before New York added another run on a Brett Gardner single to make it 8-0. The Twins would get a run in the top of the fourth with a Mitch Garver single, but wouldn’t score again until garbage time in the ninth when Luis Arraez would drive in Garver on a double.
With the 8-2 loss, the Twins are now in a tough situation down 0-2 as they head back to Target Field. With the season on the line in Game 3, the Twins will send Jake Odorizzi on the mound opposite Luis Severino on Monday night with hopes of forcing a Game 4 Tuesday night in Minneapolis.