MINNESOTA 7, SEATTLE 1 IN SEATTLE
Date: Friday, May 17.
Batting stars: Ehire Adrianza was 2-for-3 with a home run (his third), two runs and two RBIs. Max Kepler was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Marwin Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with two runs.
Pitching stars: Martin Perez struck out seven in 6.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits and four walks. Matt Magill struck out two in 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up a walk. Mike Morin pitched a scoreless inning.
Opposition stars: Austin Adams retired all six men he faced, striking out four. Edwin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Dee Gordon was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his twelfth. Mitch Haniger was 0-for-1 with three walks.
The game: The Mariners put men on second and third with one out in the first, but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning. The Twins started the scoring in the third on Adrianza's solo home run. In the fourth, the Twins opened the inning with consecutive singles by Gonzalez, C. J. Cron, Willians Astudillo, and Kepler, making the score 2-0. They added one more on Adrianza's sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.
The Twins built their lead some more in the fifth. Jorge Polanco and Gonzalez singled and Cron walked, loading the bases with one out. Astudillo hit a sacrifice fly, and an error moved everyone up a base. Kepler then delivered a two-run single, making it 6-0 Twins.
Seattle got their lone run in the bottom of the fifth. With two out Gordon singled, Haniger walked, and Encarnacion had an RBI single. They had only one hit after that, a two-out double by J. P. Crawford in the sixth. The Twins added a run in the ninth when Adrianza singled and scored from first on a two-out double by Jonathan Schoop.
WP: Perez (6-1). LP: Marco Gonzales (5-3). S: None.
Notes: Astudillo was the catcher in this game, one of 21 games he caught. Mitch Garver and Jason Castro split the catching duties almost evenly, with Garver catching 82 games and Castro 78.
Adrianza was at third base. Miguel Sano, who would become the third baseman, was just getting back from injury. This was his second game of the season, and he was the DH. Nelson Cruz, the regular DH, missed a few weeks due to injury.
Gonzalez was in left field in place of Eddie Rosario, who was apparently just given the day off.
The Twins did not make any position player substitutions.
Polanco was leading the team in batting at .331. He would finish at .295. Luis Arraez, who had not been brought up yet, would lead the team in batting at .334. Cruz would be the only other .300 hitter, at .311. The Twins were second in the league in batting at .270.
Cruz would lead the team in home runs with 41. The Twins would have eleven batters who hit double-digit home runs: Kepler (36), Sano (34), Rosario (32), Garver (31), Cron (25), Schoop (23), Polanco (22), Gonzalez (15), Castro (13), and Byron Buxton (10). As you know, the Twins would set a new record for home runs in a season with 307.
Perez was 6-1, 2.89 at this point of the season. Unfortunately, he couldn't sustain that, and ended up at 10-7, 5.12. The Twins had three solid starters: Jose Berrios (14-8, 3.68), Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51), and Michael Pineda (15-11, 4.01). They struggled after that, though, with Perez and Kyle Gibson (13-7, 4.84). When Pineda was suspended they really struggled, which led to Randy Dobnak making a start in the playoffs.
The Twins used 31 pitchers in 2019. So they won't be forgotten, let's tip our cap to Andrew Vasquez, Chase DeJong, Jorge Alcala, and Austin Adams, each of whom pitched one or two games for the Twins last season.
This was the fourth game of a five-game winning streak for the Twins. After a loss they would win six more in a row, meaning they won eleven of twelve.
Record: The Twins were 29-15, in first place in the American League Central, 5.5 games ahead of Cleveland. They would finish 101-61, in first place, 8 games ahead of Cleveland.
The Mariners were 22-25, in fourth place in the American League West, nine games behind Houston. They would finish 68-94, in fifth (last) place, 39 games behind Houston.
Rewind Record: The Twins are 38-33 in Random Rewind games.