Coming into Cleveland, the Minnesota Twins were riding a three-game winning streak and owned a 7-5 record against the Indians this season.
The streak ended in Game 1 and the winning record against Cleveland was erased as well, as the Twins fell in three of four games to drop the series.
Trevor Bauer was impressive in the first game of the series. He kept Twins batters off-balance all game. Bauer allowed six baserunners — three hits, three walks. The outing Kyle Gibson had was quite the opposite as he allowed six runs — four earned — on seven hits and three walks through five innings.
Matt Belisle didn’t fare any better as he let in four runs. With the Indians up by 10 runs, the Twins called on Mitch Garver to pitch an inning. After Bauer exited, Cleveland’s bullpen locked it down, securing a 10-0 win.
In Game 2, Garver was again productive for the Twins — this time on offense. His three-run home run gave the Twins a lead in the second inning. It was the only run support Adalberto Mejia needed as he cruised through five scoreless innings.
Trevor Hildenberger gave up two solo home runs in the eighth but it wasn’t enough as Fernando Rodney stranded the tying run at second base in the ninth, securing a 3-2 win for the Twins.
With his team down 2-1 in the ninth of Game 3, Miguel Sano deposited a hanging curveball — that looked off the plate — to right field for a solo home run off Cody Allen.
Rodney’s final out the previous game was a strikeout of Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. In Game 3 of the series, with another opportunity to win the game, Lindor didn’t miss. His three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave Cleveland a 5-2 walk-off win.
Down four runs against Corey Kluber on the mound for Cleveland in Game 4, the Twins battled back to tie the game. Jake Cave hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the fifth and Jorge Polanco hit a three-run home run in the sixth.
The final game of the series ended in a similar fashion as Game 3, however. Yes, another walk-off win for Cleveland; this time it was Michael Brantley. His single through a drawn-in infield scored Greg Allen from third base gave Cleveland a 5-4 win.
Here’s what we saw from our vantage point
A great start cut short
Mejia was rolling. In fact, he was looking better than the opposition, Indians star Carlos Carrasco. Mejia started off shaky. The first two men he faced reached via a single and hit-by-pitch. He then got Jose Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice, Edwin Encarnacion to fly out and Brandon Guyer to line out to get out of the first with no runs allowed.
To open the second, he walked Yonder Alonso but came back with a strikeout and two fly outs. From the third through the fifth inning, Mejia got four fly outs, three groundouts and two strikeouts.
He only needed 68 pitches to get through five innings of work. Mejia was on pace to work seven innings while needing roughly 95 pitches to do so. Unfortunately for him and the Twins, Mejia left the game due to a strained left wrist.
Mejia has given the Twins productive innings since being called up and could have given them more if weren’t for the injury. Additionally, Mejia likely would have given the Twins the longest start of the series.
Brian Dozier’s replacement
Apart of the Brian Dozier trade and filling in in his absence is Logan Forsythe. Since joining the Twins, he’s trended up. In just this series alone, Forsythe went 6 for 13 with one walk, one run and one RBI. He put these numbers together in different spots in the order too — batting seventh twice, sixth and even leading off.
Whether he’s auditioning for a contract in free agency or one with the Twins, Forsythe has quietly produced at the plate and it continued in the four-game series with Cleveland.
- The Indians walked off the Twins in consecutive games, pushing the total number of walk-off losses for Minnesota this season to 12. The record for most walk-off losses in a season in Twins history is 15 set in 1964.
Finally, #MNTwins suffer back-to-back walk-off losses for the 1st time since July 29-30th of last season (v OAK). Last time CLE walked off Twins in b2b games: Sept 27-28, 1984 Ron Davis and Ed Hodge served 'em up. That was a tough stretch of games for Twins Territory
— TwinsRadio (@TwinsRadio) August 9, 2018
- The Twins travel to Detroit to take on the third-place Tigers. Here are the probable pitching matchups:
- Ervin Santana (0-0, 6.14 ERA) vs Jordon Zimmermann (4-4, 4.31 ERA) – Friday
- Kyle Gibson (5-9, 3.60 ERA) vs Francisco Liriano (3-6, 4.37 ERA) – Saturday
- TBD (N/A) vs Matthew Boyd (6-10, 4.33 ERA) – Sunday