After 4 hours, 11 minutes of baseball last night, it sure feels like we never left Fenway Park. But we all are back here for the finale of this four-game series - a series the Twins can win.
That's because of their crazy 11-9 win last night in which they pounded out a season-high 19 hits, including seven between Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano. The game began in a dust storm, Ricky Nolasco was knocked out of the game after two innings, Sano ignored a popup that landed in the infield for a hit, then the Twins stormed back In a place where it is hard to storm back in.
Even the end of the game was weird. Sano fielded a grounder, kissed the ball, then threw it to first for the final out.
I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but Paul Molitor brought it up after the game.
``I don't know where the kiss-the-ball came from,'' Molitor said.
You can't make some of this stuff up.
Tommy Milone, who pitched 8.1 innings his last time out, starts opposite of Rick Porcello today. Kurt Suzuki is not expected to play after receiving stitches on his chin after taking a foul ball off his face ask in the second inning. Joe Mauer should be back in the lineup after getting a break on Saturday.
Boston sent down Heath Hembree after the game last night. Joe Kelly has been called up and will be in the bullpen today. We'll see who's available in the Twins bullpen today, because all hands were on deck last night.
The have a chance to win three of the four games here. Believe it or not, it would be the third time in the last five seasons that the Twins have won a four-game series here.
Kurt Suzuki admitted that his chin is still sore after a foul ball hit him in the mask last night and opened up a gash that required seven or eight stitches to close. He hopes to play on Tuesday, when the Twins open a six-game homestand. But the club is working on adding padding to the chin area of his mask to provide extra cushion. The stitches will come out in about 10 days.
Juan Centeno will start today behind the plate. Eduardo Escobar has his catching equipment in the tunnel to the dugout and is ready in an emergency role.
When Ricky Nolasco was knocked out of the game in the second inning, Saturday, discussions began in the dugout about calling up a reliever from Class AAA Rochester. They decided against it, but the bullpen is depleted for today's game. They could really use a long outing by Tommy Milone.
Ervin Santana went to the bullpen in the eighth inning Saturday, just in case he was need in extra innings. Today, Kyle Gibson is the emergency pitcher.
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Brian Dozier, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Kennys Vargas, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
Juan Centeno, C
Byron Buxton, CF
Tommy Milone, LHP
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Hanley Ramirez, DH
Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Bryce Brentz, LF
Ryan Hanigan, C
Rick Porcello, RHP