Twins win series against defending World Series champions in home opener


Minnesota Twins as a Logo (Vector cliparts) minnesota twins,logo,emblem,blue,clipart

Alex Sharp, Contributor

The Minnesota Twins had their home opener this weekend in a series against the Houston Astros. Some very solid pitching from Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan (albeit a grand slam) helped the Twins tally two wins in the three-game series over the weekend.

On Friday’s game, starting pitcher Sonny Gray threw a career record 13 strikeouts in his 7 innings pitched, and the win was given to closer Jorge López. The game stayed extremely close all the way until the end. The first run was scored in the top of the third inning by Houston’s Mauricio Dubon on a sharp single from Alex Bregman. Houston would not score again until the tenth. The story of the game for the twins before the 6th inning was leaving runners on base. In the third, Carlos Correa struck out swinging leaving two runners on base. In the bottom of the 4th, Christian Vazquez left three ducks on the pond, and Correa again in the fifth inning struck out swinging with two runners on base. The drought ended in the 6th when Kyle Farmer’s single moved Solano to second. Solano then was able to score on a wild pitch. However, after the Twin’s first run, Michael A. Taylor struck out with two runners on base. The Twins had plenty of chances to score, but just couldn’t make it happen – until the 10th inning. A single in the 10th by Mauricio Dubon was the RBI Houston needed, and David Hensley was able to score for the Astros, putting them up by one going into the bottom of the 10th. Buxton scored first for the Twins in the 10th on an RBI from Jose Miranda. Following Buxton’s run was a series of walks and questionable pitches by Houston’s Ryne Stanek that put Trevor Larnach on third, Miranda on second, and Solano on first. Kyle Farmer was up to bat with three runners on base and 1 out. His ground ball single rifled down the middle, and Trevor Larnach scored to put the Twins up by 1 and claim the win on Friday. 

The Twins would look for better hitting on Saturday as they faced the Astros once more at home, and Kyle Farmer would answer the call. Nick Gordon would be the first runner to score in the bottom of the second after a cannon of a home run from Kyle Farmer to left center. The three-run homer was a great way to start a beautiful Saturday at Target Field, however, a bit of gloom would follow as starting pitcher Joe Ryan would give up a Grand Slam to Yordan Alvarez in the third. Despite this Grand Slam Joe Ryan would have a solid game, gaining a win and putting up 10 strikeouts. Neither team would score again until the 6th inning, where the Twins got a go-ahead run off of a single from catcher Christian Vazquez. Then, in the eighth, another RBI from Christian Vazquez sent Nick Gordon to home plate, a run that was promptly followed by a Byron Buxton bomb to left field, a three-run homer that put the Twins up by 5 going into the last inning. After Twins pitcher Jovani Moran gave up two runs to make the score 9-6, closer Jhoan Duran was brought out of the bullpen for the save. A quick strikeout on Duran’s first batter with one of his famous 100-mph fastballs was enough to squash the hopes of the Astros and get the Twins their second win of the weekend. Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli had some high praise for Kyle Farmer after his great game. “Kyle Farmer has given us a lot of everything. I could say a little of everything, but it’s not a little.”

Unfortunately, the sweep escaped the Twins as they would fall 5-1 to the Astros on Sunday. The Twins’ only run came in the 4th from a Donovan Solano double that allowed Buxton to score, and the rest of the innings were donuts on the box score. Despite 6 strikeouts from Twins pitcher Tyler Mahle, the Astros were still able to score 5 runs, 3 off of hits from Chas Mccormick, and two from the bat of Jeremy Pena. 

All in all, a series win against the defending World Series champions is a good sign for the Twins, and a trend that fans hope continues to follow.