After another great performance by Michael Pineda, who has shown an astonishing performance since the All-Star break, the Twins again won 6-2 against White Sox in Chicago. The bats were not as productive as last night, but they came up very early and gave Pineda plenty of running support.
Courtesy of FanGraphs
Pineda: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 64.5% hits (62 from 96 divisions)
Bullpen (Thorpe): 2.0 IP, 2 H , 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Home Runs: Kepler (27), Cruz (26)
Multi-Hit Games: Cruz (3-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI), Sanó (2-for-4)
Top 3 WPA: Pineda .1
A Record 200 Home Run
The Best Offensive Destroyed in Baseball still records. Max Kepler celebrated a triple home run in the second inning, the twelfth for the twins in the season, making them the fastest team to score so many (103 games). The previous record was owned by the 2005 Texas Rangers, who beat their two-hundred-year-old Homer in their 122nd match. Minnesota is now well on its way to reaching 316 homers per year. Kepler also extended his lead in the home run among German-born players, now with 83 career bombas, five more than former Mariners infielder Mike Blowers in an inning. Young White Sox starter Dylan Cease scored six goals in the second half, including an RBI single for Nelson Cruz and a bag-on-the-fly to Byron Buxton with charged bases. Oddly enough, such a productive offensive has the second worst hit average in the majors with the charged bases, now at 0.193, and is one of five teams in the league with no or no grand slam this season.
Pineda continues ascent
Twin starter Michael Pineda once again made an outstanding appearance and delivered the third qualifying start in his last four starts. For the first time since June 28, the twins had two consecutive inning outings from their starters. Overall, it was an uneventful start for him, having problems only during the third innings, in which he gave up a walk and three hits, one of which was a homer in two runs for Adam Engel.
This was the eighth start of Pineda since the All-Star break and he has been cruising ever since. At these eight starts, he now records an ERA of 2.87, beats nine batters and runs about two batters per nine. He is most successful for the Twins when they are most needed a possible postseason run, even if the club supports the rotation trade.
The Bullpen also thanked Pineda for his trip, as the Twins could only use one Reliever for the third game in a row. Lewis Thorpe had another very good trip, in which he showed two scoreless innings. In this time span of three games, the Twins Reliefs gave only a deserved run.
Nelson Cruz Still Hot
Nelson Cruz refuses to cool off. In the seventh inning, he scored his 26th homer of the year, his tenth since the All-Star break. This was also the fifth game in a row, in which he played a home game. He was the first 39-year-old since Barry Bonds in 2004. The boomstick is now well on its way to completing more than 40 home races during the season.
The twins are now 63-40 and retain a lead of two games ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central. The Indians beat the royals. Minnesota celebrates its first series win in two weeks tomorrow as Martín Pérez meets Ivan Nova's usage chart
Click here to get an overview of the number of pitches that each Bullpen member has received over the past few years threw five days.