Tuesday night’s Heinz Award goes to the Cincinnati Reds for having to play catch up to the Minnesota Twins for the whole game. The 8-5 defeat to the Twin was close for most of the game, then it got out of hand, then it got close again. It was a roller coaster ride.
The Twins would draw the first spec of blood in this 13 run contest. After Brian Dozier struck out to start the game, Torii Hunter hit his 12th home run of the 2015 season, 1-0 Twins. It would be a 19 pitch inning for Anthony DeSclafani. He would also strike out Joe Mauer and give up a bloop single to Trevor Plouffe.
The bottom of the first would be an easy one for Twins’ pitcher Phil Hughes. He would have a 1-2-3 first inning; however, Ivan De Jesus Jr. did line out to the short stop, and Joey Votto his a soft sinking line drive to left field.
In the top of the second inning, Eduardo Nunez would lead off with his 12th double of the season. It was a high chopper that bounced over the out stretched glove of Todd Frazier and into shallow left field. Kurt Suzuki would then ground out to second, advancing Nunez over to third base.
Now with one out and Nunez on third, the infield would be pulled in. Danny Santana hit a ground ball to Joey Votto. Votto’s throw to the plate was off line and the runner scored on a fielder’s choice, 2-0 Twins. Santana reached third base just a pick off attempt later when DeSclafani threw the ball down the right field line. Votto would have a chance to throw out Santana at third, but Frazier dropped the ball on the tag attempt. Thankfully Dozier would strike out for the second time in the game to end the inning after 40 pitches.
There was nothing going for the Reds in the second inning. Frazier did lead off with a double, but three consecutive fly outs ended the threat and the inning. Hughes had 23 pitches at the end of the second.
The would finally get on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Eugenio Suarez led off the inning with his second home run of the season, 2-1 Twins. Billy Hamilton would also get a hit in that inning, but his speed was eliminated when De Jesus Jr. hit a taylor made double play right to the second baseman.
The Twins would threaten again in the fourth inning after two hits by Eddie Rosario and Santana, but two strikeouts in the inning would end the threat. The Reds would follow up in the bottom half of the inning with a 1-2-3 outing only spotting Hughes nine pitches.
The Twins finally scored again in the 5th inning. Dozier and Hunter had back to back line drive singles to start the inning, including a successfully attempted hit and run to put runners at the corners. Mauer would then hit medium deep fly ball to center field for a sacrifice fly, 3-1 Twins. Plouffe would then end the inning by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play.
Both sides would threaten to score for the inning inning or two, but no dent would be put in the first column of the box score until the top of the 7th. Dozier led off the inning with a rocket double down the left field line. He would advance to third base on a wild pitch. Mauer would then walk and Plouffe would record the RBI with a fielder’s choice play, 4-1 Twins.
Rosario singled for the Twins’ 11th hit of the game. After a pitching change, Burke Badenhop gave up a single into right field to Nunez, 5-1 Twins. Then the floodgates opened when Suzuki drove in two more on a single, 7-1 Twins. At this point everyone in Reds Nation is facepalming for how fast this fell apart, but the Twins would not be far behind.
Thanks to an implosion and a couple of wild pitches and an Marlon Byrd home run in the next inning, the Reds would crawl within two runs of the lead, but that is all the Reds would score. The Twins would tag on another run in the 8th, that was all she wrote for the Redlegs Tuesday night.