The Twins were able to pull off a much needed series sweep against the Kansas City Royals. The pitching was outstanding from Devin Smeltzer and the newly improved bullpen and the offense did just enough for the win. The Twins topped the Royals 3-0 to win the series 3-0.
Smeltzer: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 67.8% strikes (61 of 90 pitches)
Bullpen: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Castro (11)
Multi-Hit Games: Arraez (2-for-3), Rosario (2-for-3)
Top 3 WPA: Smeltzer (0.30), Duffey (0.17), Arraez (0.10)
Bottom 3 WPA: Sano (-0.08), Adrianza (-0.07), Cruz (-0.06)
Pitchers duel between Smeltzer and Keller
This game started just like everyone predicted between a Twins AAA pitcher and literally anyone on the Royals pitching staff. Five quick shutout innings on both sides. Both Devin Smeltzer and Brad Keller were rolling and it was looking like the first team to score was going to win.
Ehire Adrianza also made a play that made us all say “No way he gets to that ball… wow! Well no way he throws out the runner… WOW!”
Luckily for the Twins, they were able to score a run on a 92 MPH single from Arraez, followed by a wild pitch, a productive groundout to move him to third and then a sacrifice fly from Rosario on a nice diving catch by Jorge Soler.
Smeltzer makes his case to stay in the big leagues
Twins starter Devin Smeltzer showed yet again that the Twins won the Brian Dozier trade last season with six shutout innings. These six innings helped to lower his ERA to just 2.28 in 28.2 career innings. He came up to fill in for Michael Pineda and he did exactly what the Twins needed from him. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him take Pineda’s next start against Cleveland as well.
Late offense is just enough for the Twins
After the sacrifice fly from Rosario in the sixth inning, Jason Castro homered in the seventh and then Rosario singled on a ball he thought was going 450 feet and he ended up getting caught in a rundown and then Nelson Cruz was thrown out at the plate. It was a very odd play, but the Twins were up 3-0 going into the ninth.
The Twins bullpen finishes off the game strong
After Devin Smeltzer was taken out in the seventh inning, Tyler Duffey was the first out of the bullpen and he did his job by throwing a clean 1-2-3 inning with a couple of strikeouts. In the eighth the Twins brought in new fan favorite reliever Sergio Romo and he did his job as well, throwing just six pitches (all strikes) and getting three outs. Taylor Rogers finished it off in the ninth with another 1-2-3 inning and that capped off a perfect game for the bullpen and a series sweep.
Twins finish off the sweep with a three game lead over Cleveland
The Twins won the game by a final score of 3-0 and there was really no doubt at any point despite it being a close game throughout. It looks like the Twins may have finally returned to the team we knew and loved in April and May. Tomorrow a great Atlanta Braves team comes to town with the Twins still leading the Central Division by three games.