Twins get ready for season opener after two straight road series
April 5, 2018
The year after making history, the Minnesota Twins started out the season with two straight road series before having their home opener today. Kyle Gibson is set to pitch for the Twins against the Seattle Mariners in his second game of the year after winning his first game with a six inning no hitter.
Before last season, the Twins hadn’t won a home opener since the 2011 season when they beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 behind Carl Pavano while only giving up one run in eight innings.
This year the Twins opened up the season against the Baltimore Orioles. Jake Odorizzi pitched in the season opener and had six scoreless innings. Unfortunately, in the 11th inning, Adam Jones ended the game on a walk-off home run.
Throughout the first series, the Twins starting pitchers were lights-out, starting with Odorizzi, Gibson following and Jose Berrios finishing it off. The Twins went 2-1 in this series but the starting pitchers combined for 21 straight shutout innings while only allowing five hits. In Berrios’ start, he entered the ninth inning with only one hit and was able to finish the game allowing three hits in a complete game shutout.
The streak ended in the first inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates scored five quick runs off of Lance Lynn after a Colin Moran grand slam in an inning where Lynn gave up three walks. Walks have been an issue so far for the Twins, who are tied at third for most walks given up while playing the least amount of games of the two teams above them.
The Twins fought back but in that game failed to complete the comeback losing 4-5 and dropped to 2-2 while the Pirates stayed undefeated.
With one of the Twins’ best pitchers from last season, Ervin Santana, out with a finger injury, Odorizzi made his second start of the season in the fifth game. He only lasted four and a third innings after letting up his first three runs of the season.
The Twins made another comeback against the Pirates, and this time they were able to finish the comeback and win 7-3 improving to 3-2 on the season before their home opener.
The Twins pitchers have been getting help from the offensive side, scoring just over five runs per game. Brian Dozier is leading the offense with four home runs, with Miguel Sano helping with a team-leading five runs batted in.
Logan Morrison was supposed to be the biggest offseason addition to the offensive side for the Twins. Last year Morrison had his best season of his career at the plate, he hit 38 home runs with a .353 batting average. Morrison went a disappointing 0-11 in his first four games, but got a big first hit of the season with a double in a four-run sixth inning. That still stands as Morrison’s only hit as he is sitting at 1-15 from the plate.
Sano was struggling last year with a leg injury and got surgery this offseason. He hasn’t started this season off on the best note; he has 12 strikeouts in only 12 at bats but got three hits last night and is now 6-22 with two home runs.
The fielding has been perfect this year as the twins have yet to make an error, they have also turned five double plays. Eddie Rosario has the early highlight in the field, which came last night, when he threw out Gregory Polanco at home. This big play ended up being the turning point in the game as the Twins got their big inning the next time they were at bat.