7/16: Twins Walk-Off Indians in 11, 5-4, After 2-Hour Delay

It was an odd game for an odd team. The Minnesota Twins beat the AL Central-leading Indians 5-4, scoring the last run on an error by Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes in the bottom of the 11th after a 2:05-hour rain delay.

Catch all that?

“Test my memory,” manager Paul Molitor told the assembled media. “Kind of a strange game. Duffey was mostly good…and we had a lot of guys that came in and pitched well out of the pen.”

Tyler Duffey went 6.1 innings despite a first inning in which he gave up a single and two walks and a run before two outs were recorded. He gave up six hits and four earned runs on the night.

The Twins finished the game 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position, leaving 14 on base; the Indians were 3-for-14. Miguel Sano had two egregious errors, but Jason Kipnis, Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes all had errors of their own.

“We gave ourselves a chance by scratching out a couple there and tying it late,” said Molitor, “and then Miggy, [his]┬ánight was adventurous.”

The rain delay began at 10:14 pm with the Twins an out away from getting out of the 11th inning. From the press box, it was hard to tell how the conditions changed, but at field level things appeared to be worsening, leading to a 2-plus hour delay.

The game itself lasted 3 hours and 50 minutes, and started at 6:39 pm due to Torii Hunter’s Twins Hall of Fame introduction ceremony.

“I think that was a little bit strange in that it didn’t really seem like it was picking up too much,” said Molitor.

“I don’t know if it was the lightning or the threat. When I talked to [umpire] Larry [Vanover, the crew chief], I know he said he saw some people start to slip around the infield, and he thought with the safety issues it was time to get people off the field.”

Michael Tonkin, the reliever at the time, was visibly upset with the decision. Trevor May ended up finishing up the 11th before Minnesota finished things off in the bottom frame.

“I told the guys, we’ve been good in these situations as of late — late night, come back the next day and win another one,” said Molitor. “They came out with some energy, and they found a way to get it done.”

It was an odd game in an odd season, to say the least.

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