Game Recap 8/30/23 | Guardians Beat The Twins 5-2

August 30, 2023

Andy Billman

Post-Game Live Recap

3 Things About Guardians Victory over Minnesota Twins:

1 – Blazing Bullpen  

The Guardians bullpen came through on Wednesday afternoon pitching five innings giving up zero hits and zero runs to keep Cleveland in the game.  

2 – 9th Inning Wild Pitch  

In the bottom of the 9th, Guardians are down 2-1 with two outs and runners on second and third, Andres Gimenez scores on a wild pitch by Twins closer John Duran to tie up. 

3 – Kole Calhoun Blast!

With the game tied, Kole Calhoun came up in the top of the 10th with two runners on and hit the game-winning three-run bomb to put the Guardians up for good at 5-2.

Game Summary

Kole Calhoun hammered a three-run homer during the 10th inning, sealing Cleveland’s impressive late rally against the Minnesota bullpen. The Guardians triumphed over the Twins with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday, narrowing the gap in the AL Central to just five games.

Cleveland’s comeback overshadowed Sonny Gray’s stellar performance on the mound, as the Twins’ bullpen faltered, aided by five relievers. Despite his exceptional efforts, Emilio Pagán (5-2) suffered the loss among the relievers. Notably, he performed exceptionally well within the group. In the 10th inning, after securing the initial two outs and intentionally walking José Ramírez, Pagán handed over the mound to rookie Kody Funderburk. This was Funderburk’s second appearance in the majors, following his impressive debut on Monday with two flawless innings against the Guardians.

Funderburk’s 3-0 fastball found the wrong spot in the strike zone, and Calhoun took full advantage by sending it into the stands beyond right-center field. This decisive hit prompted an audible sigh from the 20,169-strong crowd. The Twins’ record in extra innings dipped to 11 wins against 7 losses.

Trevor Stephan (6-4) earned the victory with a remarkable ninth inning, striking out all three batters he faced. Emmanuel Clase secured his 36th save out of 45 chances by pitching a perfect 10th inning. The Twins failed to record a hit after the fifth inning.

Looking ahead, the two teams are set to meet three more times this year, scheduled for the following week in Cleveland. With just 28 games left in the season, the tension is high. The season series between the two teams is currently tied at five wins apiece. Notably, Minnesota has held the top position for 143 out of 153 days this season.

Gray’s performance was nothing short of impressive. Despite throwing only 81 pitches, he managed to keep the Twins scoreless over seven innings. He left the game with a 2-0 lead, thanks to Jorge Polanco’s two-run single in the fifth inning.

Jhoan Duran, unfortunately, registered his fifth blown save out of 28 opportunities. A two-out, two-strike wild pitch allowed Andrés Giménez to score the tying run, adding to Duran’s recent struggles. With just one perfect inning in his last 17 appearances since July 15, Duran faced difficulties in the 10th inning after walking Giménez. He recovered by striking out pinch-hitter Bo Naylor to close the inning.

In the eighth inning, Griffin Jax conceded a leadoff double to Arias, which was capitalized on by Steven Kwan’s two-out single off Caleb Thielbar.

Gray’s outstanding performance included scattering three hits and a single walk, accompanied by five strikeouts. This lowered his ERA to an impressive 2.92, which stands as the best in the AL among pitchers with a qualifying amount of innings. Despite his strong showings, Gray had endured a series of no-decisions in 15 of his 28 starts, not securing a win in May, June, or July. However, he managed to secure three wins out of six starts in August, maintaining an impressive 2.04 ERA over 39 2/3 innings.

The Twins had struggled with runners in scoring position during their previous game, going hitless in nine at-bats, resulting in a 4-2 loss. However, Polanco turned the tables in the fifth inning against Guardians starter Tanner Bibee (10-4). With two outs and the bases loaded, Polanco managed a well-placed hit into shallow center field, driving in crucial runs. This followed Gavin Williams, Tuesday’s starter, exiting after just one inning due to knee soreness.

Up Next

Friday 9/1 7:10 PM EST – Game 1 of Series versus Tampa Bay

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