Twins win on wild walk-off in 10th inning

What promised to be an intriguing matchup between the starter the Twins dealt at the trade deadline last season — José Berríos — and the one they acquired at the deadline this year — Tyler Mahle — wound up turning into a battle of the bullpens.

Down to the final strike of the game, Blue Jays left fielder Raimel Tapia sent a softly-hit single to center off newly-acquired reliever Jorge López, tying up a game the Twins had been leading since the third inning.

And after both teams loaded the bases and left them loaded late, Nick Gordon charged home on a Tim Beckham ground ball that Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen couldn’t hang onto for the game-winning run in the Twins’ 6-5 10-inning win over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Target Field.

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen drops the ball, allowing Minnesota Twins’ Nick Gordon to score the winning run during the 10th inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 6-5. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The wild win came after the Twins were unable to capitalize on leadoff doubles in both the seventh and eighth innings, leaving the door open for the Blue Jays to get back into the game.

They couldn’t push home a run with the bases loaded and just one out in the ninth, either, as Jose Miranda struck out and Gordon send a fly ball to left field to take the game into extras. But neither could the Blue Jays, as newly-acquired reliever Michael Fulmer worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam of his own in the top of the 10th.

The Twins had been protecting a lead until the ninth that they had grabbed ahold of off old friend José Berríos earlier in the game. After giving up a home run to rookie Mark Contreras in the third inning, Berríos couldn’t make it through the fourth. Miranda, back in the lineup after getting hit with a pitch on the hand a day earlier, singled home Carlos Correa and Gordon followed with a three-run blast — one of three hits on the day for him — energizing the Target Field crowd.

Mahle, meanwhile, faced the minimum through four innings — thanks to some help from his defense — before the Blue Jays began to chip away at the Twins’ lead.

The new Twins starter, making his Twins’ debut, allowed a solo home run to Matt Chapman in the fifth inning before the Blue Jays tagged him for another pair of home runs an inning later. All four of the runs Mahle gave up came via the longball.

The starter threw six innings on Friday before making way for the bullpen. After scoreless innings from Griffin Jax, who struck out all three batters he faced, and Jhoan Duran, López allowed three hits in the ninth, blowing his fifth save of the season, setting the stage for the wild finish.

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