The Bomba Squad scored a dozen runs and Kenta Maeda cruised into the seventh inning as the Twins broke loose Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Byron Buxton had his second career multi-home run game and Miguel Sanó hit a towering dinger.
Maeda: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Home Runs: Sanó (4), Buxton 2 (5)
Top 3 WPA: Maeda .125, Cave .108, Polanco .100
Win Probability Chart (via FanGraphs):
The Bats Finally Wake Up
In the first two games of the series, Minneosta scored a combined eight runs, all of which came courtesy of the long ball. In the second inning they scored five runs without a single home run.
Miguel Sano walked and later scored on a double from Jake Cave, after Brewers left-fielder, Christian Yelich lost the ball in the sun. Cave would later score after an RBI single from Arraez. Three more singles from Garver, Polanco and Cruz would plate three more runs and give Minnesota an early 5-0 lead.
Miguel Sano kept the party going in the third when he launched a ball into orbit, extending the Minnesota lead to 6-0.
In the fourth inning, Rocco dug into his bag of tricks and broke out the old school hit-and-run play and it worked to perfection. Rosario was running on the pitch and Marwin lined the ball down the right field line, scoring Rosario and pushing the lead to 7-0 -- the route was on early in Milwaukee.
By the end of the fourth inning every starter for the Twins had at least one hit.
In the fifth inning, Byron Buxton hit his fourth home run of the year, extending the early lead to 8-0. After the Buxton blast, Minnesota loaded the bases for Nelson Cruz who drew a walk, scoring another run and keeping the bases loaded for Rosario, who was the hottest Twins hitter entering play. Eddie worked the count full and drew another walk, scoring yet another run for Minnesota.
After a Milwaukee pitching change, Marwin Gonzalez lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Polanco and further extending the lead to 11-0. Milwaukee was finally put out of their misery when Cave grounded out, ending the inning in which Minnesota had batted around and scored three runs on only two hits.
Byron led off the sixth by collecting his fifth home run of the year and his second of the game, stepping on the throat of Milwaukee and making it a 12-0 game.
Kenta Maeda Continues To Shine
A lot was made about the Brusdar Graterol for Kenta Maeda trade this winter but Maeda has done nothing but impress every time he’s taken the mound for Minnesota. Tonight was no exception.
Propelled by an earlier lead, Maeda was able to settle in and roll through the Milwaukee lineup. He didn’t feature a lot of swing and miss stuff but he worked efficiently and kept the Brewers in check for most of the night. He ran into some trouble in the sixth when he gave up a single, double and another single, allowing Milwaukee to score two runs.
Maeda finished his night with a strong 6.2 innings, improving his record to 3-0.
Garver Gets On Track?
The early struggles for Mitch Garver are well documented and we’ve all been waiting for signs that he is breaking out of his slump. Perhaps we got those signs tonight.
Mitch finished 3-for-6 with zero strike outs and hit three balls with an exit velocity of 98mph or greater. That’s the kind of hard contact we’ve been waiting to see from Mitch.
Rocco’s decision to have him lead off tonight turned out to be the right move. Even though some people questioned it, myself included.
Sometimes you have to admit when you’re wrong and I was certainly wrong.