Odorizzi struggles but Twins do enough to beat Angels
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli put it best when talking about how dominant Jake Odorizzi had been on the mound entering Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
“He hasn’t just kept us in games,” Baldelli said. “He’s basically single handedly put us in a position to win games.”
In that sense, it was fitting that the Twins offense repaid the favor on a day that Odorizzi didn’t have his best stuff. He was less than impressive across 5 1/3 innings and got the Twins walked away with a rather tense 8-7 win over the Angels anyway.
Byron Buxton clobbered a monster two-run homer to lead the way, while Jason Castro added an opposite field two-run homer of his own, and Ehire Adrianza poked a two-run double into the gap.
“We had some guys certainly put some really nice swings on the ball and drive the ball out of the park,” Baldelli said. “It’s challenging to prepare for (the Angels). They do a good job and they continually make life difficult for whatever pitcher is on the mound. Our guys did good work.”
That made up for the fact that Odorizzi allowed a run for the first time this month. His impressive scoreless streak ended at 22 1/3 innings when Tommy La Stella smoked a solo homer to right field in the top of the third inning.
“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Odorizzi said. “I didn’t have a feel for my off speed pitches. It was primarily fastballs. It was frustrating not to get through the sixth. At the same time with how I felt it was just one of those games where I had to just grind through and get as many outs as possible.”
Besides that home run to La Stella, Odorizzi actually pitched himself out of a handful of jams, minimizing the damage before the bullpen took over.
Trevor May, Matt Magill, Ryne Harper, and Blake Parker were efficient in their effort before Trevor Hildenberger and Mike Morin loaded the bases, making things way more dramatic than necessary down the stretch.
Asked what he was thinking in those final moments, Buxton replied, “Hit me the ball.”
“That’s when I want the ball the most, especially when the game’s on the line,” Buxton added. “You want to make that play.”
In the end, it was Adrianza who got the glory as Morin got Shohei Ohtani to ground out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning to end the game.
“You’re going to have to win games ugly,” Odorizzi said. “It got interesting (at the end) and we still won. At the end of the day a win is a win. It’s the old cliche that an ugly win is better than a good loss. It really does hold true. It’s about wins. It’s not about how. It’s about how many.”