To make it five wins in a row, the American League Central leaders will have to find a way past the last pitcher to defeat them, All-Star right-hander George Kirby.
Kirby (9-8, 3.23 ERA) limited the Twins to four hits over seven innings while striking out 10 and walking none in a 5-0 victory on Thursday in Seattle
“Awesome outing,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He is not afraid. He loves the competition. I think that’s what sticks out more than anything else when you watch him pitch. He just loves the, ‘Bring it on, I will give you my best effort.’ And he usually ends up on the right side of things.”
Minnesota rebounded to sweep three games from the visiting Chicago White Sox over the weekend and then rallied for a 4-3, 10-inning victory on Monday in the series opener with the Mariners
Right-hander Pablo Lopez (5-6, 4.22), who joined Kirby on the AL All-Star squad, will try to make it five in a row for the Twins, who are a major-league-best 9-2 since the All-Star break. He took the loss in the Thursday contest at Seattle after allowing two runs on six hits over five innings. He walked two while striking out seven
Minnesota goes into the game with a four-game lead over the Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central, matching its biggest margin of the season. The Twins are six games over .500, which also matches a season best
Minnesota trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth on Monday after Kolten Wong delivered a two-run, pinch-hit, go-ahead homer off Griffin Jax with two outs in the top of the frame.
The Twins, who had rallied from a 3-0, ninth-inning deficit to walk-off the White Sox 5-4 in 12 innings on Sunday, tied the Monday contest on back-to-back doubles by reigning AL Player of the Week Alex Kirilloff and Max Kepler off Andres Munoz to force extra innings
Jorge Lopez retired the Mariners in order in the top of the 10th. Christian Vazquez then bunted automatic runner Donovan Solano to third to start the bottom half of the inning against Paul Sewald. After Ryan Jeffers reached base on another bunt, Carlos Correa drove in Solano with a single to right to complete Minnesota’s fourth straight come-from-behind win
“I know (Sewald) has a lot of carry on his fastball so I’m just trying to hit a low line drive somewhere and put the ball in play and good things happen,” Correa said after his 10th career walk-off hit. “So that’s what happened right there and we got the win.”
It was the fourth straight one-run game for Seattle, which is 2-2 in that span.
“Heck of an effort to come back late like that in the game,” Servais said. “Unfortunately we didn’t really do a whole lot early. Tough way to start the road trip.”
Seattle dropped back to .500 at the 100-game mark with the loss despite Wong’s heroics. The 357-foot home run, which landed in the flower box at the front of the right field overhang, was the second of the season for Wong, who is batting just .162.
“Huge hit by Kolten,” Servais said. “This has not been an easy year for him. To step up in that spot and come through like that was awesome to see, but disappointed to lose the ballgame.”
–Field Level Media
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