The question has been asked and answered: the Twins aren’t so interested in playing the role of spoilers.
They’re focused on winning as many games as they can and using the rest of this season to better position themselves for the future.
In doing that, the Red Sox, Yankees and Mariners might have a couple words for the Twins after beating the Blue Jays 7-2 on Thursday night at Target Field: “Thank you.”
The Blue Jays (85-68) are firmly in the middle of the Wild Card race, but the Twins (68-85) did them no favors on Thursday night, pushing them now a game back of the Yankees, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot.
The other Wild Card contenders can direct their thankful sentiments largely at Twins rookie Nick Gordon, who drove in a career-high four runs while going on a journey in the outfield. Gordon, an infielder by trade, started the game in left, shifted to right for the first time in his career when Max Kepler was removed due to a non-COVID-19 illness, and ended the day back in left.
Gordon, who now owns a five-game hitting streak, finished Thursday’s game with three more, his second three-hit game in three days.
His three-run home run to right-center field helped break the game open in the sixth inning, turning a one-run lead into a four-run advantage. Gordon also added another RBI hit in the seventh inning, bring home Brent Rooker.
All of Gordon’s damage was with two outs, which is when the rookie has been the most productive this season.
Along with Gordon, catcher Mitch Garver also finished the night with three hits, and drove in a run. Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez did, too, and Arraez also cut down a Blue Jays runner trying to score in the sixth inning.
While the Blue Jays’ potent offense finished with 11 hits, Michael Pineda and four relievers were able to hold them in check. Pineda gave up eight hits in his five innings, but only two runs as he picked up a win for the second time in less than a week against the Blue Jays.