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Bullpen, Errors Spoil Buxton's Dramatic Homer; SEA 9, MIN 6

A pitchers duel in tonight’s game kept the two best power hitting teams in the league quiet ... until the bullpens came in. Byron Buxton tied it to cap a late push and send the game into extra innings, but errors were too much for the Twins to overcome.

Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins

Box Score

Berrios: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 66.4% strikes (71 of 107 pitches)

Bullpen: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Home Runs: Gonzalez (8), Kepler (16), Buxton (9)

Multi-Hit Games: Garver (2-for-4), Gonzalez (2-for-4, HR), Sano (2-for-4, 2B)

WPA of +0.1: Buxton .351, Gonzalez .296, Berrios .208

WPA of -0.1: Polanco -.104, Rosario -.132, Kepler -.138, Cron -.152, Parker -.239, May -.241, Duffey -.455

(chart via FanGraphs)

Errors Open the Game

The Minnesota Twins were charged with five errors in tonight’s game, and all of them came in the final three innings. Four out of the five errors actually resulted in runs being scored.

C.J. Cron was responsible for the first error in the eighth inning when he misjudged a ground ball that slipped by him into right field. One run was scored on that play, but it was followed by a three-run home run to put the Mariners up by five.

The Twins’ late rally was overlooked after three more errors by the Twins’ defense in the 10th inning. The first one hurt the most as the Twins played the situation perfectly with runners on second and third and one out.

Tyler Duffey was able to get Mallex Smith to ground right to Cron at first, but Mitch Garver tried to apply the tag at home before he had caught the ball allowing the go-ahead run to score.

The next one was probably a worse play by Sano, as he couldn’t field a ground ball to his left and came up blindly firing over to first and put the ball into the stands. Two more runs came around and just like that, the Twins were down three runs.

Late Inning Push

One of the best offenses in the league was held quiet through six innings. Not to worry Twins’ fans, the “Run Bunch” always comes alive at some point of the game, sometimes you just have to wait.

It all started in the seventh inning when Marwin Gonzalez went deep to tie the game and save Jose Berrios from potentially picking up a loss. That was followed by another home run and a couple of hits against former Twins pitcher Tommy Milone in the eighth inning to keep it close.

Miguel Sano got the ninth started with a single and Byron Buxton demolished a ball to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

Pitcher Duel

Berrios had a shaky start to tonight’s game as a Mariner runner reached third base in the first four innings. Berrios was able to work out of the jam in each of those innings to keep the runner from crossing the plate. He was able to strand six runners, with five of them being in scoring position. The Mariners were able to get only one run on Berrios with a solo shot by Vogelbach in the sixth on a hanging changeup.

Berrios closed out tonight’s game barely over an ERA of three, sitting at 3.01, but unfortunately, picked up a no-decision with the Twins’ lineup nowhere to be seen in the first six innings. Berrios was also one pitch away from an immaculate inning in the fifth.

Tommy Milone, former Twins pitcher from 2014-16, was able to keep the Twins’ offense quiet through six innings. He struggled late in his outing and ended up giving up three runs, and a start to the Twins’ push.

His success came from getting ahead early and his changeup that Twins’ batters just couldn’t figure out. He struck out six batters using his changeup for the final strike in all of them. He also faced 22 batters and got 17 first pitch strikes.

Postgame With Baldelli

Bullpen Usage

Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:

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