Twins' Smeltzer on motivation, strong return
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrés Giménez ripped a go-ahead double in the 10th inning and scored an insurance run after a collision on the bases, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 Saturday night.
Giménez scored the automatic runner but ran into Minnesota first baseman Jose Miranda as he turned the corner toward second. He was shaken up and met with an athletic trainer but remained in the game. Umpires awarded him second base, and he then scored on Myles Straw’s single.
“To have Giménez lead off the inning, I feel like he’s come through every single time,” Straw said. “He’s been great for us. He’s the one that got that inning going. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s doing an amazing job and big part of that inning goes to him.”
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli argued the decision to award Giménez second base and was ejected.
“As we’ve learned that rule over the years, and you don’t see it that often, but every time it’s played out, it’s been emphasized that the runner has to continue on, and he did not,” Baldelli said. “And I, still as I sit here, am convinced that it was an incorrect call."
Nick Sandlin (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for Cleveland. Emmanuel Clase allowed the automatic runner to score but still earned his seventh save.
Jharel Cotton (0-1) allowed two runs, one earned, for Minnesota. Gio Urshela hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and drove in the extra runner in the 10th on an infield single.
The Twins were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base.
Minnesota twice loaded the bases against starter Shane Bieber and wasn’t able to score.
Max Kepler struck out after two two-out hits and a walk in the third. The Twins had the bases full with no outs in the fifth but were retired after Urshela’s tapper in front of the mound was turned into a double play and Miranda grounded out.
Bieber allowed one run on seven hits and three walks in six innings, striking out seven. He was coming off his worst start of the season when he surrendered seven runs in 3 1/3 innings against Toronto.
“Getting out of a couple jams was, I felt, big for me tonight,” Bieber said. “I think the line was better and kind of the direction I want to work towards. But more than anything, I feel like I’m happy with dealing some adversity and being able to work out of it.”
Twins reliever Jhoan Duran threw pitches of 103.3 mph and 103.1 mph, joining Aroldis Chapman, Jordan Hicks, Mauricio Cabrera, Tayron Guerrero and Ryan Helsley as the only pitchers to reach 103 mph since Statcast began tracking in 2015.
LONG WAY BACK
Devin Smeltzer was recalled from Triple-A and made the start for Minnesota, returning to the majors following an injury-filled 2021 where he lost the feeling in three fingers on his pitching hand before sustaining a herniated disc in his neck.
The left-hander gave up three hits and a run in five innings.
“It felt good to be back,” Smeltzer said. “I mean, it all paid off. I’m just looking to stick and keep rolling from here.”
Guardians: Acting manager Carl Willis and an athletic trainer came out to check on Reyes after he singled in the second. Willis said Reyes, who stayed in the game, was dealing with a cramp. … Willis is filling in for Terry Francona, who is out with COVID-19 along with several coaches.
Twins: To add Smeltzer, Minnesota optioned 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff to Triple-A St. Paul. ... 1B Miguel Sanó, who underwent knee surgery last week, was transferred to the 60-day injured list. … RHP Bailey Ober (right groin strain) was scheduled for a rehab start in Triple-A on Saturday, but the game was rained out.
RHP Triston McKenzie (2-2, 2.76) will start Sunday’s series finale for Cleveland, with RHP Joe Ryan (3-2, 2.56 ERA) scheduled for Minnesota.