Twins 9, Royals 0: Complimentary Baseball Wins Twins the Series – Twins


Box Score
Starting Pitcher:
Gray 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO
Home runs: Celestine (2)
Top 3 WPA: Gray .179, Thielbar .158, Celestino .125
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs)

After doing ‘just enough’ on Monday night, the Twins were back at it on Tuesday, looking to get a winning streak, and some momentum going in their efforts to chase down the Cleveland Guardians. Here’s how they lined up against Zack Greinke.

Jorge Polanco was the notable absentee after being lifted from the series opener with knee soreness after an awkward slide. Prior to the game, a pensive sounding Sonny Gray, somewhat carefully, stated his desire to pitch deeper into ballgames. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on Gray’s interview in the comments.

Gray Dominates Weak Royals Lineup
Whatever Sonny Gray was alluding to in his pre-game interview, he sure delivered in the mound. The Twins recent weeks have been incredibly frustrating to watch. Games have been punctuated by a sputtering offense, poor pitching, or both. Boy, did Gray hold up his end of the bargain on Tuesday night.

After cruising through six innings, Gray ran into trouble in the seventh, giving up back to back singles to Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino. Gray was close to his best however, throwing 61 strikes in 92 pitches while racking up ten strikeouts, tying a season high. Gray was relieved by Caleb Thielbar with two men on and no outs in the seventh innings.

Lots of Hits, Not Enough Big Hits Early for Twins Offense
The offensive showing was painfully familiar through the first two thirds of the game. Through five innings, the Twins had managed 8 hits, but managed just three runs off Zack Greinke. Going back to their poor final two games in the Angels series, the Twins were 4 for their last 34 (.117) with runners in scoring position.

The Twins scored twice in the second inning. After a Gio Urshela single, Gilberto Celestino reached on a fielding error. A Sandy Leon bunt scored Urshela, while a Luis Arraez single brought home Celestino. Celestino added a solo home run in his next at bat in the fourth inning, his second in his last five games. With limited right-handed flexibility in the lineup, Celestino developing any kind of line drive power would be a welcome surprise for the Twins.

Thielbar Snuffs out Runners, Twins Add On
Despite Gray running into trouble in the top of the seventh inning, the Twins had the perfect foil in Caleb Thielbar. With two men on and no outs, he pitched a scoreless frame, striking out two. Thielbar has been one of the Twins best relievers in 2022, and outside April, has been the lone bullpen success story to start the season with the Twins not named Jhoan Duran.

The Twins did what they have struggled to do in recent games in the bottom of the seventh inning, add on. A Max Kepler groundout, Gio Urshela single, and a Nick Gordon double added on three runs, increasing the lead to 6-0 and offering the kind of all around offensive output the Twins will need to continue to win the AL Central.

Michael Fulmer and Cole Sands pitched the final two (scoreless) innings of the game for Minnesota. In the bottom of the eighth, the Twins added three more runs, courtesy of singles from Jose Miranda, Gio Urshela, and Nick Gordon. After the wreckage had been cleared, the Twins managed 16 hits and ended the game 6-18 with runners in scoring position.

Elsewhere in the AL Central, the Guardians lost, allowing the Twins to close within a game of Cleveland, having played two less games.

Bullpen Usage Chart

FREE

SAT

SUN

MON

THOUSANDS

TOT

Duran

15

19

0

10

0

44

López

10

19

0

13

0

42

Fulmer

12

0

20

0

7

39

Thielbar

0

13

0

8

17

38

Jax

0

13

0

14

0

27

Megill

0

0

26

0

0

26

Pagan

0

9

10

0

0

19

Sand

0

0

0

0

19

19

Next Up
On Wednesday, the Twins will conclude their series against Kansas City. Tyler Mahle goes for the Twins against Daniel Lynch for the Royals. First pitch is 12:10pm CT

Postgame Interviews

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.