The Minnesota Twins bullpen again failed to protect a precarious lead late in the game, and the San Francisco Giants came away with a 13-8 win, ruining the chance for a sweep of the series. The Giants took advantage of the Twins bullpen to break out of an offensive slump, led by Buster Posey with three hits and four RBI’s as well as Hunter Pence, who added three doubles.
The Twins were leading heading into the seventh inning, but it ended there. “We had a lead late,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Pioneer Press. “Unfortunately a walk in the seventh turned into a disastrous seventh, and we couldn’t control them after that.”
It was reliever Matt Belisle who was called upon to protect the lead in the seventh, but instead gave up four runs and built on the Twins recent tradition of bad bullpen pitching. Craig Breslow added to the damage, surrendering five more runs in the eighth. “We seem to give up some really big numbers,” said Molitor of his team who, despite a 32-27 record, has been outscored by a total of 28 runs this season, the third-worst differential in the AL.
The lead was in part due to a decent outing by Nik Turley, the 27-year-old who labored in the minors for 10 years before getting his chance Sunday in his big-league debut. Turley gave up nine hits and four runs in four innings and also recorded four strikeouts. “I honestly can’t remember what it felt like at the start,” Turley told the Pioneer Press. “A lot of nerves.”
The Twins offense was led by Byron Buxton and Eduardo Escobar, who each had home runs while also turning in multi-hit and multi-RBI games. Despite the loss, the Twins finished the road trip with a 6-4 record.