Twins’ back-to-back walk-offs represent ‘big strides’ taken in 2nd half

MINNEAPOLIS — How’s that for resilience?

For a second day in a row, the Twins had their backs to the wall within the ninth inning, and for the second day in a row, they walked it off in further innings. On Monday, it was Carlos Correa’s flip to take the highlight with a walk-off single within the tenth inning that snatched again a 4-3 Twins victoryeven after that they had given away the lead with one out to go within the ninth.

In Sunday’s twelfth inning, Ryan Jeffers had been the hero in walking off the White Sox — and with Correa’s second walk-off knock of the season, the Twins walked off in further innings in consecutive video games for the primary time since Sept. 13-14, 2017.

“We’ve confronted some good pitchers,” Correa mentioned. “Yesterday, [Kendall] Graveman and at this time, [Andres] Muñoz. To have the ability to come again in opposition to them says quite a bit about this lineup and the massive strides that we’re making within the second half. I feel we’ve been enjoying actually good baseball ever because the break.”

He’s proper about that: The Twins’ 9-2 file because the All-Star break is greatest within the Majors, and their 54-48 general file matches their high-water mark for the season at six video games above .500. The Twins’ four-game lead within the American League Central additionally ties their season excessive.

And so they’ve needed to battle laborious for these wins, with contributions from everywhere in the roster.

A day after erasing a 3-0 deficit within the ninth inning in opposition to the White Sox, the Twins led, 2-1, with two outs within the prime of the ninth inning earlier than Griffin Jax allowed a pinch-hit single to Cal Raleigh and a pinch-hit, go-ahead, two-run homer to Kolten Wong that surprised the group of twenty-two,969 at Goal Discipline.

However going through the hard-throwing Muñoz within the backside of the ninth, reigning AL Player of the Week winner Alex Kirilloff roped a double off the glove of left fielder Taylor Trammell earlier than Max Kepler knocked his third hit of the evening, a game-tying double to proper. The usually stoic Kepler jumped to his ft, yelled and pumped his fist after capping his first three-hit recreation since April 24.

“I like seeing that from Kep, as a result of I do know it’s in there and we’ve seen it earlier than from him,” supervisor Rocco Baldelli mentioned. “He’s having enjoyable. He’s simply on the market having an excellent time. And he’s an enormous cause why we’re enjoying nicely proper now. He’s been a man that’s picked this staff up in an enormous approach.”

The Twins opened the tenth inning with profitable bunts from each Christian Vázquez and Ryan Jeffers — one a sacrifice, one an tried squeeze that turned a single — earlier than Correa, the Majors’ chief in double-play grounders, simplified with two strikes and elevated the ball to proper discipline, ending the sport.

“Simply attempting to be quick,” Correa mentioned. “Simply attempting to place the ball in play, however not on the bottom. I’ve hit for too many double performs already, so the very last thing I wished is to place the ball on the bottom, and it labored out wonderful.”

And because the likes of Correa and Kepler attempt to distance themselves even farther from a difficult first half, resilience is throughout them.

Kenta Maeda, who initially struggled and re-injured himself in his return from Tommy John, allowed one run as he pitched into the seventh, outdueling Seattle ace Luis Castillo for the second time in per week to decrease his ERA to 2.48 in six begins since his return from the IL.

Jordan Balazovic, the rookie whose season began with a jaw damaged in an altercation, pitched a high-leverage eighth inning, the most important scenario of his profession. Jorge López, who spent two weeks on the IL resulting from his psychological well being and has struggled all season together with his consistency, buckled down for a flawless tenth inning to earn his fourth victory.

Reinforcements ought to quickly be on the best way by subsequent Tuesday’s Commerce Deadline, which may deliver reduction to an more and more taxed bullpen and maybe one other massive bat to an awakening lineup. The eventual returns of Jorge Polanco, Caleb Thielbar, Brock Stewart and Royce Lewis from accidents ought to deliver boosts, too.

However for now, they’re nonetheless discovering a approach — and issues are coming collectively, throughout the roster.

“Robust win,” Baldelli mentioned. “It was an excellent win. It was gritty.”

They’ve had loads of these of late.

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Revealed : 2023-07-25 04:38:54

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