The Twins won the game on Friday. Although it might be more apt to say that Toronto lost it.
After squandering a 5-0 lead, the Twins came back for a 6-5 victory in the 10th inning, mostly due to a costly mistake by the Blue Jays.
Jake Cave pulled the ball out, but reached first base when Toronto receiver Danny Jansen missed the pitch at first, tossing it over Vladimir Guerrero’s head. It also gave Nick Gordon – the runner who had started extra innings at second base – a chance to rush to third.
Tim Beckham put the ball in play on the next at-bat, grounding the ball in the third, but Gordon beat the tag home to score the winning run.
The victory was won in front of 29,593 fans – many of whom support Toronto – at Target Field. The Twins improved to 56-50 to maintain their slim lead over American League Central. Toronto fell to 59-47 for second place in the AL East.
The Twins managed to force their former starter Jose Berrios out of the game after just 3⅔ innings. Berrios gave up a solo home run to Mark Contreras in the third inning to make the game 1-0 but really burned in the fourth.
Carlos Correa hit a brace before Berrios stepped on Jorge Polanco. Jose Miranda then hit an RBI single before Gordon stepped in for a three-run home run.
A Twins starter hadn’t completed six innings in nearly two weeks. Tyler Mahle – someone who has already pitched nine innings once this season – changed that in his first start since being traded from Cincinnati. Although he might have hoped, in hindsight, that he had finished at five.
With a five-run lead, Mahle allowed his first homer of the night in the fifth inning, a solo shot on Matt Chapman. In the sixth, he gave up another solo home run to Santiago Espinal. Whit Merrifield managed to catch a base hit on him before Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove a two-run homer to make it 5-4.
The Twins’ bullpen — which had a terrible night in Game 1 of the series Thursday that led to the Twins designating longtime pitcher Tyler Duffey for assignment — had its ups and downs on Friday. Griffin Jax retired the team in his seventh inning. Jhoan Duran sidelined his first two batters but then allowed a pair of hits at the top of Toronto’s order. And Jorge Lopez was one strike away from his final when Raimel Tapia hit the game-tying RBI single.
Gio Urshela’s pinch hit to lead the bottom of the ninth and delivered a single. Gilberto Celestino then raced for him and performed some stunts to avoid running into Luis Arraez’s crush as he headed for second place. Correa took advantage of Toronto second baseman Cavan Biggio popping the ball to put the runners up first and third.
Reliever Yimi Garcia intentionally walked Polanco to load the bases and hit Miranda. Nick Gordon then flew out to force extra innings.
Michael Fulmer retired his first batter in the 10th but then had the bases loaded from a walk and a hit. But he returned to batting form, retiring his last two batters to give the Twins another chance to retire.
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