CHICAGO – Like so many rookies before him, Nick Gordon discovered the joys and frustrations of playing at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
The versatile utility player of the Twins practiced a home run on the famous bleachers, a two-point shot that gave the Twins the ultimate advantage on the way to a 9-5 win over the Cubs. Gordon was one of the four twins to amass three hits, the first time in more than two years that they have.
“It was really an explosive effort on the part of our guys,” said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. “Really, everywhere you looked, there were good swings.”
A couple on the other side as well, one of whom illustrated to Gordon the difficulty of patrolling in front of those ivy-covered bleachers. When Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel hit a high line drive to Gordon’s left, he couldn’t reach it, then watched it disappear into the ivy. Schwindel was awarded a double and Gordon left it to the baseball field staff to search for the ball in the vines.
No damage, though, as the Twins have scored more than six points for the third time in their last 24 games. In addition to Gordon’s homer, the Twins’ 4-5 batters were at the center of most of the attack. Cleanup hitter Josh Donaldson led in runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a single in the fifth inning, and Max Kepler, beating directly behind him, helped to score single points in the fourth and fifth inning.
“It was a little weird,” Donaldson said of the twins’ 16-shot attack. “It wasn’t a good night to hit here at Wrigley, and with the wind blowing, the ball wasn’t carrying very well.”
BOXSCORE: Gemini 9, Cubs 5
The points were necessary, as starter Griffin Jax had a hard time quelling the Cubs attack at home, allowing for a point in each of the first three innings. Jax’s problem was familiar: he gave solo home runs to Trayce Thompson in the second inning and Willson Contreras in the third.
The only shot the twins were worried about, even though it came in the ninth inning, a pitch that hit Byron Buxton on the front of his left foot. The winger limped waiting for the feeling to return, Baldelli said, but was able to finish the game in midfield.
“His foot was pretty numb,” the manager said. “In the end, he said he was fine. Obviously tomorrow we’ll go check him out to make sure he’s okay, to make sure nothing swells. He hit him pretty well, but he’s not out of the game for that.”
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