There was a refrain ringing through Target Field on Friday night and, for once in an arduous season, it was pleasing to the ears of Twins fans.
The crowd would erupt into regular chants of “Eddie, Eddie,” typically starting in left field.
They were mainly for Eddie Rosario, who provided enough of a reason for them with an RBI single and two difficult catches in left field in his part of a much-needed 7-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
“We have a cult following going on out there in the bleachers,” manager Paul Molitor said.
But some chants were saved for Eduardo Escobar, who sneaked one home run over the hedges of the hanging right-field garden in the first inning for a three-run shot, then clobbered another blast — the longest homer of the Twins’ season — in the seventh.
It was all part of a night that finally went right for the Twins.
Some games, the Twins have the pitching but the hitting goes absent. More recently, the bats have come alive but the pitching decides to take a few days off. Friday, the Twins got enough of both.
Escobar provided the pop, Rosario the fizz with his glove while Jose Berrios kept the Indians calm enough to earn the victory, giving up four runs in six innings while striking out seven.
“This is the night you want to see — everybody pulling together,” Berrios said after improving to 6-5 on the season. “We got the win.”
A win that was only the Twins’ second in their past nine games, and one that was needed to restore some faith to a club that has seen its share of tribulations through the first two months of the season. There was a meeting Thursday that Molitor called, then another one Friday from second baseman Brian Dozier to keep the team focused despite its struggles. Friday’s performance was the response the Twins wanted to see.
“Everybody stay strong, play hard no matter what happens, that’s what’s most important, that was the message,” Escobar said. “So, you saw today, everybody ran hard, played hard. That’s what’s most important.”
Nobody got better results at the plate than Escobar, whose three-run shot in the first settled an on-edge crowd and earned a smattering of “Eddie, Eddie” chants for himself.
Then Rosario made a slick running catch of a Melky Cabrera fly ball in the second, knocked in a run in the bottom half, then again came up big with his glove in the fifth when he got a hand on a Greg Allen line drive and caught the ball on the bobble.
Cue more “Eddie, Eddie.”
“To get a glove on it with extension and maintain after the bobble, that takes some athleticism,” Molitor said.
It took some serious power off the bat of Escobar to help give the Twins an important insurance run after the Indians had pulled within 6-4. He connected on a sinker from Josh Tomlin and sent it flying 443 feet into the upper deck of right-center field.
“I’m just seeing the ball; it looks bigger than usual,” Escobar said. “The team tells you to relax and see the ball well and make good contact, you know?”
Curiously, there was no “Eddie, Eddie” chorus after Escobar’s home run.
Perhaps the crowd was tired of saying it.