ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Somehow, the evening ended with righthander Matt Magill getting a lefthanded toast in the clubhouse after the Twins' 5-4 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
“And a little beer shower, too,” said Magill, who picked up his first major league win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
A lefthanded toast is a nod to the standings, where the win column is on the left side. How the Twins avoided the loss column took a roster-wide effort that made manager Paul Molitor describe the game as “one of our better wins.”
Unable to generate any offense — besides solo home runs by Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier — the Twins trailed 4-2 heading into the ninth but struck for three runs. The first was Rosario’s second home run of the night. The second came on Mitch Garver’s pinch-hit, two-strike, cueball shot down the right field line. The third, and final, run came home on a sacrifice fly by former Angels catcher Bobby Wilson.
The runs were scored off of Angels relievers Justin Anderson and Jim Johnson, two of the many relievers Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia is using to finish out games.
The list of Twins heroes continues, as Logan Morrison hit a key double in the ninth and scored the tying run. After Twins starter Lance Lynn lasted just 4 2/3 innings, the bullpen of Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, Zach Duke and Magill pitched shutout baseball to get the game into the ninth inning.
Fernando Rodney had his moments in the ninth. He gave up a one-out single to Martin Maldonado, who just missed hitting a tying home run on a ball that went just foul. Rodney eventually faced Mike Trout with two outs. Trout squared up a pitch and sent a screamer through the infield that socked right into shortstop Gregorio Petit’s glove for the final out of the game.
MLB.com’s Statcast clocked the batted ball at 118 miles an hour — only the 18th ball since the service was launched in 2015 that has been hit that hard. Trout’s was the first one that was hit for an out.
“May check Petit’s hand,” Molitor said, “see how he’s feeling.”
Molitor could afford to joke after he watched a number of players have a hand in a comeback victory on the road — while getting a little luck.
“We hung in the game,” Molitor said. “It’s just one of those games it feels particularly good to find a way to come back.”
For Rosario, who supplied a multihomer game for the fifth time in his career, it was a familiar feeling that was a little overdue.
“I think that’s the team like last year,” he said. “That was the key last year. Come back in a lot of games, and win a lot of those games. That’s good for the team.”
Last year, how about the night before? The Twins were down 4-0 and came back to tie the game before the bullpen faltered in a 7-4 loss. Their first game of their current road trip was a walkoff loss in Chicago. They have gone on to go 6-2 on the trip and you could argue that they could have at least have one more victory.
Now they have guaranteed a winning road trip, they can get greedy, win the next two games and take the four-game series in Anaheim.
“No matter how we get them, just get a win,” Morrison said. “These are exciting, but I think every offensive player in here would say they want to score 20 runs a game and blow everybody out. But that’s not the case, not going to happen. Too much talent around the league.
“These guys do a really good job of turning the page. It’s not what we’ve done. It’s what we’re going to do. I think it’s a good culture here.”