June 16, 2024
Royce Lewis

Twins Stop Record 18-Game Postseason Skid On Strength Of Royce Lewis Home Runs

The news that Royce Lewis will be playing in the AL Wild Card Series for Minnesota gave him a boost of confidence and put an end to any doubts he had about his hamstring injury.

Waering a vintage jersey of his childhood favorite Johan Santana, who also happened to be the last Twins pitcher to win a game in the playoffs, Pablo López found inspiration in his wardrobe.

The Twins and their supporters benefited from the enthusiasm, ultimately putting an end to their record-breaking 18-game postseason losing streak.

In their first AL Wild Card Series game on Tuesday, Lewis broke the streak by homering in each of his first two at-bats to lead the Twins to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It was a blessing to play today. That atmosphere was electric,” said Lewis, whose two-run shot off Kevin Gausman in the first inning and leadoff drive in the third sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.

After some hours later, Jhoan Duran pitched a hitless ninth to seal the Twins’ first playoff victory since October 5, 2004, and end the worst postseason losing streak in the history of major North American professional sports, according to Simba Daily.

“This was my team growing up. It’s still my team,” said Caleb Thielbar, a Minnesota native who pitched a perfect seventh. “I know how people feel, and I know what weight was lifted off everyone’s backs today.”

The Twins have not won at home in the postseason since Game 1 of the 2002 ALCS in the Metrodome. Lewis was 3 years old at the time. With five grand slams in 70 career games, he is the kind of star player who could take the Twins further than simply hoisting the division banner and departing the celebration after three or four days.

“I thought the place was going to split open and melt, honestly,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It was out of this universe out there on the field. The fans took over the game. They helped us win today.”

For Minnesota, López made a great playoff launch as well, allowing just one run and five hits across five and a third innings. He gave a performance that was reminiscent of his fellow Venezuelan after sporting his Santana jersey to the ballpark.

Wednesday afternoon is when the second game will be played. Target Field is the site of the whole series.

Bo Bichette was finally brought in by Kevin Kiermaier’s two-out single for the Blue Jays in the sixth inning, but nine runners were left on base.

Since they hadn’t had playoff success since the 2016 ALCS, the Blue Jays brought their own October woes into this series. They selected Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., two team pillars and the renowned offspring of previous major leaguers, as wild cards in 2020 and 2022.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a hard time with their form after losing 11-4 to Miami Marlins in a race for the wild-card spot. 

Miami opened play a half-game behind Cincinnati and Joey Wendle was the star of the match. He drove in four home runs and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. 

The 33-year-old Wendle batted ninth in the order and delivered a homer, double, and single to highlight the 13-hit attack of the surging Marlins, who have won six consecutive games. 

Luis Arraez also drove in two runs with a double.

Wendle’s second homer of the season — a two-run shot, made it 2-1, and Chisholm connected for a three-run drive before Sánchez added a solo gust.

He has given up 15 runs and 14 hits over nine innings in his last two outings.

Lynn (10-11) was lifted after 4 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander allowed eight earned runs and seven hits. 

The NL Dodgers lost for the fifth time in six games. Los Angeles will be without starting pitcher Julio Urías for a long period after MLB placed him on administrative leave on Wednesday. 

Rookie James Outman hit his 18th homer, a two-run shot in the ninth, for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles struck first on Jason Heyward’s solo shot off reliever A.J. Puk in the fourth. Heyward drove Puk’s 3-2 pitch over the wall in right for his 14th homer.

Written by
James Robert
View all articles
Leave a reply

Written by James Robert