Most nights, scoring seven runs would be enough to add to the win column. But it turns out that some nights you need more than seven runs, especially when you pair bad pitching with poor defense, which is exactly what Cleveland did in Friday night’s 8-7 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Cal Quantrill set the tone with a rough night on the mound. He managed to navigate the first couple innings with minimal damage, allowing one run to score in the first inning that could be chalked up to Josh Naylor’s subpar defense in right field. But then came the third inning, when the Twins finally started to punish the pitches Quantrill was leaving over the plate. Minnesota hit for the cycle in the inning and tagged him for four runs, taking a 5-3 lead.
Though Cleveland’s defense (or lack thereof) made an impact when Luis Arraez laced a liner into the gap in left-center, which turned into an RBI triple when Harold Ramirez slid to try and stop the ball but ended up booting it past Bradley Zimmer, who was backing him up.
Quantrill stayed in the game until the fifth but did not make it out of the inning, giving up a single and a one-out walk before calling it a night. One baserunner would come around to score with Nick Sandlin on the mound in relief after Nelson Cruz dropped a two-out RBI bloop single between Harold Ramirez and Amed Rosario in left field, tying the score at 6-6. Quantrill’s final line was six hits, six earned runs, one walk, and two strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
Cleveland’s lineup showed some fight throughout the night. They opened up a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a laser solo shot by Amed Rosario and a two-run bomb by Bobby Bradley. After the Twins took a 5-3 lead in the third inning, Austin Hedges evened the score in the fourth with his second two-out RBI single in as many games, plating two runs to tie it up. Eddie Rosario pushed across the go-ahead run with a solo shot in the fifth inning, but the 6-5 lead would not last.
The game unraveled for Cleveland in the sixth inning with Nick Wittgren on the mound. He quickly retired the first two batters of the inning on three pitches before allowing a two-out single to Nick Gordon. Cesar Hernandez failed to make a play on an Andrelton Simmons grounder, putting runners on first and third. Luis Arraez delivered the back-breaker, scoring the go-ahead runs on a double to the wall in center field that Bradley Zimmer couldn’t seem to get to.
Trailing 8-6 in the ninth inning, Cleveland almost made a game of it. Josh Naylor cut the deficit to 8-7 with a one-out solo home run. Bradley Zimmer singled down the first base line and tried to stretch it into a double but was inexplicably tagged out at second by at least a foot before he reached the bag. Austin Hedges, fresh out of two-out magic, grounded out to end the game.