On the final day of the 2020 season, game 60, the Twins were scoreboard watching, waiting to see if they would be sealing up their second straight division title and who they’d draw in the playoffs.
Tuesday marked game 60 of the 2021 season and while there’s still plenty of baseball left to be played, a poor defensive effort and a tough day for the bullpen on Tuesday sent them spiraling once again to the bottom of the American League Central.
The Twins committed four errors on Tuesday night at Target Field, and the Yankees surged ahead with two runs in the eighth inning as the Twins fell 8-4 in their 60th game of the season.
“We’re in a very different spot this year through 60 than we were last year,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before the game. “That’s something that we have to own and we have to acknowledge.”
Last year’s Twins reached this point 36-24, edging out Chicago and Cleveland by a game in the division. This year’s club has been plagued by injuries and has underperformed expectations. With the loss to the Yankees (32-29), the Twins are now 24-36 on the season.
As has been the case often this season, the Twins’ bullpen faltered late. After Luke Farrell worked around a pair of hits in the seventh inning to keep the game tied, southpaw Taylor Rogers gave up a pair of hits, both of which scored.
While both runs were earned, the Twins did commit two of their four errors in the inning.
Three more runs scored in the ninth inning off rookie Griffin Jax, who was his major league debut. Jax served up a two-run home run to Gary Sánchez and a solo shot later in the inning to Miguel Andújar, helping put the game out of reach.
Center fielder Rob Refsnyder left Tuesday’s game with left hamstring tightness after doubling home a run in the sixth inning. Refsnyder was 2 for 3 against his former team and his exit comes on the same day he was activated from the seven-day concussion list.