It was a bad day overall for the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, but it was a particularly bad one for Alex Kirilloff.
Game 3 got off to a rough start out of the gate, with the Houston Astros quickly amassing a four-run lead in the top of the first inning, thanking in large part to a play Kirilloff didn’t make. Yordan Alvarez hit a scorcher toward Kirilloff at first, one that got by him and rolled all the way to the right field corner.
Jose Altuve was already on base and reached third on the error with Alvarez pulling up with a double. That opened up the flood gates for Houston, as Kyle Tucker batted in a run and Jose Abreu launched a three-run home run when Sonny Gray left him a hanging sweeper.
Had Kirilloff made the play at first, he would have been able to turn an inning ending double play and the Astros would have been held off the board. Instead the Twins were dropped into a deep hole to start the game, one they ultimately couldn’t climb out of.
Alex Kirilloff takes blame for error that led to four-run first inning
After the game, Kirilloff stepped up and took accountability for misplaying what could have been a critical double play in the first inning.
"That play in the first inning is kind of on me," Kiriloff said. "It's a play that needs to be made."
As frustrating as it is in hindsight, it was a tough play for Kirilloff to make, and the fact that it went down as an error is a little unfair. That being said, it’s the type of play that can swing games in the postseason, and Minnesota found themselves on the right side of a few against Toronto.
Kirilloff wasn’t making any excuses or looking for an easy way out, which says a lot about his character.
"It changes the complexion of the game right away. Making the double play to get out of the inning, it’s nothing-nothing and we’re coming up in the bottom of the first with a different game,” Kirilloff said. “That’s on me and I take full responsibility for that.
Minnesota is back in action on Wedensday, and will need to get back to the style of play the had in Game 2’s win and move away from the mistake-riddled game they played on Tuesday. If they don’t, then the specactular postseason run will come to a sudden end.