The Minnesota Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-0 in the first game of the three-game series at Progressive Field. The Twins were led by rookie pitcher Adalberto Mejia, who needed 104 pitches through five innings to keep the Indians off the board. The game was always set up for the Indians to have one big hit to end Mejia’s night, but he did not let that happen.
“He got through it somehow,” manager Paul Molitor told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It seemed like he made some of his best pitches when he got to full counts. We were joking about, just start it 3-2 and let’s go from there.”
During the second inning, the Twins produced an RBI single, double and home run. Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier each had timely RBIs, but the major blow for the Indians came from Jorge Polanco, who hit a two-run home run over a pitcher he’s very familiar with.
“He’s a hard-throwing pitcher, so I’m just looking for a fastball,” Polanco told the Pioneer Press. Whenever I face him, I just keep the same plan.”
Ironically, Polanco’s last home run had been against Bauer on May 14. He also hit his first career home run against Bauer just a bit over a year ago.
“I think I will never forget that,” Polanco told the Pioneer Press.
The Indians had many opportunities to score runs, but they stranded many runners on base helping the Twins gain momentum. One big inning was all the Twins needed offensively and this marks the third win of the season at Progressive Field.
The Twins are 0-7 at home against the Indians at Target Field.
“It bothered me,” Mejia told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It has to bother you. At times I thought, if this hitter gets a hit, this run comes in. But I try not to think that way and try to not let a hitter get to first base.”
Despite the annoyance, Mejia managed to gut out five innings, allowing just two hits with four strikeouts but also five walks.
The Twins can wrap up a series win on Saturday, though it’ll be a tough task as Indians ace Corey Kluber takes the mound against Kyle Gibson. First pitch is at 3:10 p.m.