A four-run fourth inning ultimately doomed the Minnesota Twins, who fell to the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies 7-3 after a remarkably close start to the game.
The first four innings were weird.
First inning: Colorado got the first two men on, then produced three straight outs. Minnesota got the first two batters on, then suffered three straight outs.
Second inning: Colorado scores two. Minnesota scores two (Jason Castro and Brian Dozier RBI doubles).
Third inning: Colorado three-and-out. Minnesota three-and-out.
Fourth inning: Gerardo Parra homers. Byron Buxton homers.
So this game's been pretty even this far. pic.twitter.com/V3TNkUxZnV
— Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) May 17, 2017
“I was happy we responded after they scored, we came right back and tied it up and then they hit a home run, and we hit a home run,” said Molitor. “But they put together good at-bats [in the sixth].”
Starter Phil Hughes got through the fifth unscathed, but gave up a double to Carlos Gonzalez and an RBI single to Ian Desmond before being removed in favor of Tyler Duffey.
“He wasn’t trusting his changeup again, which is kind of been happening his last couple starts. The command of his cutter, especially on his arm-side, wasn’t to good, and it cost him some hits,” said Molitor.
“The home run, he was trying to back-door a cutter, and it ended up coming all the way to the inner-third. But he gave us a chance. His numbers aren’t great to this point, if you look at them as a whole, but when you think about the games that he’s pitched, all except for maybe one we’ve been in the game.”
Duffey then gave up an RBI double to Tony Wolters, the man in the 9-hole, and a homer to Charlie Blackmon. The four runs in that inning ultimately were the difference in the game.
“But we had a couple situations where we had first and second, nobody out, with the heart of the lineup coming up, and we weren’t able to capitalize on those situations. Just kind of a combination of all that turned it into a defeat for us.”
Even the end of the game was strange.
In the ninth inning, Chris Gimenez pinch-hit for Eddie Rosario in the 9-hole. He struck out, but the ball was in the dirt, so he sneakily trotted to first base. Desmond, the Colorado first baseman, called for the ball, but Wolters, the catcher, never threw it.
Here’s how Gimenez described it after the game:
In the end, it was a really strange game against a team that is off to a surprising start. Molitor indicated the game tomorrow likely will be cancelled due to rain, meaning there could be a doubleheader Thursday.