Floundering Reds fall to Twins in 12 innings


Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano gets bubble gum poured on him following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano gets bubble gum poured on him following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano wears the bubble gum container on his head following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez (7) celebrates his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher J.A. Happ in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


UP NEXT

By The Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds (35-36, fourth in the NL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (31-41, fourth in the AL Central)

Minneapolis; Tuesday, 1:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Reds: Wade Miley (6-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 56 strikeouts) Twins: Bailey Ober (0-0, 3.71 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 21 strikeouts)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Twins -117, Reds +101; over/under is 9 runs

BOTTOM LINE: Cincinnati enters the matchup as losers of their last five games.

The Twins are 15-21 on their home turf. Minnesota has hit 104 home runs this season, third in the American League. Nelson Cruz leads them with 16, averaging one every 13.6 at-bats.

The Reds have gone 19-20 away from home. Cincinnati’s team on-base percentage of .326 is second in the National League. Jesse Winker leads the team with an OBP of .403.

The Twins won the last meeting 7-5. Matt Shoemaker earned his third victory and Miguel Sano went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs for Minnesota. Heath Hembree registered his third loss for Cincinnati.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cruz leads the Twins with 38 RBIs and is batting .298.

Winker leads the Reds with 17 home runs and has 43 RBIs.

LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 6-4, .249 batting average, 4.79 ERA, outscored by nine runs

Reds: 5-5, .252 batting average, 3.51 ERA, outscored opponents by eight runs

INJURIES: Twins: Devin Smeltzer: (elbow), Michael Pineda: (elbow), Edwar Colina: (elbow), Rob Refsnyder: (hamstring), Kyle Garlick: (hernia), Jake Cave: (back), Byron Buxton: (hand), Mitch Garver: (groin).

Reds: Michael Lorenzen: (shoulder), Jeff Hoffman: (shoulder), Sonny Gray: (groin), Michael Feliz: (elbow), Brandon Bailey: (elbow), Tejay Antone: (forearm), Nick Senzel: (knee), Max Schrock: (calf), Mike Moustakas: (heel), Alex Blandino: (hand).

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The longest game in the major leagues this year left the Minnesota Twins feeling emotionally spent.

Their best winning streak of the season is still going, but center fielder Byron Buxton has been sidelined once again.

Miguel Sanó hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning to lift Minnesota past Cincinnati 7-5 on Monday night — the fifth straight victory for the Twins and fifth loss in a row for the Reds.

With a runner on third and Cincinnati playing a five-man infield, Sanó hammered a 3-1 slider from Heath Hembree (1-3) over the wall in left-center. It was Minnesota’s fourth consecutive extra-innings win after eight straight losses in extras to start the season.

“Just trying to find one pitch that’s really good and trying to hit it,” Sanó said.

The game lasted 5:14 and ended 30 minutes past midnight, after beginning on a somber note with a remembrance of the late Mike Bell — the former Reds player and Twins coach who died of cancer this year. Bell was the younger brother of Cincinnati manager David Bell.

After being hit by a 94 mph fastball from Reds starter Tyler Mahle in the fourth, Buxton played one more inning before being pulled — and diagnosed with a broken left hand. He could miss a month or so, a crushing blow to an oft-injured player who missed 40 games with a strained right hip before returning to action on Saturday.

“This isn’t fair. That’s how I feel about the whole thing,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Matt Shoemaker (3-8), whose struggles as a starter prompted a recent demotion to the bullpen, pitched two hitless innings for the win. Shoemaker loaded the bases in the 12th after two walks, one intentional, but struck out Eugenio Suárez — who had a homer and three RBIs — to escape.

“It’s definitely an adjustment being used to starting, but that’s where I am and I’m going to own it and do my best and be great at it,” Shoemaker said.

The late innings were quite the testament to endurance and resilience, with a bit of unstable relief pitching mixed in — and stranded runners galore.

Nick Castellanos, in a 5-for-26 slide, gave the Reds the lead with a single in the 10th against Jorge Alcala for his first RBI in eight games. Suárez, who had an earlier two-run homer, added a sacrifice fly to turn the game over to Sean Doolittle.

The left-hander gave up an RBI double to Luis Arraez and a sacrifice fly to Trevor Larnach as the Twins sent a game to the 11th inning for the first time this season. They’re 3-8 in 10-inning games.

Taylor Rogers allowed two hits to Cincinnati in the ninth, but Jonathan India — who was picked off first base in the seventh — over-slid second as he went headfirst for a double and was tagged for the second out. Rogers struck out Jesse Winker to strand a runner at third.

Minnesota loaded the bases against Lucas Sims in the bottom of the inning, but he struck out Ryan Jeffers looking on a 96 mph full-count fastball that caught the lower outside corner. Sims then retired Andrelton Simmons on a forceout.

IN MEMORY

The Twins held a pregame remembrance for Mike Bell, their well-liked bench coach for the 2020 season who died at age 46 on March 26 of kidney cancer.

David Bell caught the ceremonial first pitch from Mike Bell’s widow, Kelly Bell. The Twins presented the Bell family a signed jersey and a $10,000 donation to a local organization, GiGi’s Playhouse, that works for Down syndrome advocacy and support. David Bell’s voice cracked as he addressed the crowd with appreciation.

“They did an amazing job, they really did, of putting together something so thoughtful. It says a lot about Mike and who he was and how much he meant to people here, but it also says a lot about the people here with the Twins. So many nice gestures. So many nice gifts,” David Bell said afterward.

BACK TO BACK

Suárez and Aristides Aquino hit consecutive home runs in the fourth inning against J.A. Happ to bring the Reds back from a 3-0 hole that was started by Nelson Cruz’s homer. Happ is 1-3 with a 9.33 ERA over his last eight starts, with 58 hits and 11 home runs allowed in 36 2/3 innings.

HEADS-UP PLAY

Alex Kirilloff singled for the Twins in the eighth and simply ran to an empty second base — the rookie’s first career steal — while the Reds nonchalantly prepared for the next batter. The Twins wound up leaving the bases loaded to end that inning.

COME BACK REAL SOON

The Reds went 17 years without any trips to Minnesota in the scheduling quirk of all scheduling quirks, including the first eight seasons of Target Field’s existence. Now they’ve visited the Twins three times in four years. The all-time series is tied at 14.

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Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano gets bubble gum poured on him following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_126849504-b206cf14e84844d49a34062443e68299.jpgMinnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano gets bubble gum poured on him following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano wears the bubble gum container on his head following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_126849504-bbd53d4d18ac496da3867bf7d4c596f6.jpgMinnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano wears the bubble gum container on his head following his walk-off, two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th inning of a baseball game, early Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Cincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez (7) celebrates his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher J.A. Happ in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/06/web1_126849504-3498b43e88634fa0aa93a3d5d8559a10.jpgCincinnati Reds’ Eugenio Suarez (7) celebrates his two-run home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher J.A. Happ in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 21, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

UP NEXT

By The Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds (35-36, fourth in the NL Central) vs. Minnesota Twins (31-41, fourth in the AL Central)

Minneapolis; Tuesday, 1:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Reds: Wade Miley (6-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 56 strikeouts) Twins: Bailey Ober (0-0, 3.71 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 21 strikeouts)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Twins -117, Reds +101; over/under is 9 runs

BOTTOM LINE: Cincinnati enters the matchup as losers of their last five games.

The Twins are 15-21 on their home turf. Minnesota has hit 104 home runs this season, third in the American League. Nelson Cruz leads them with 16, averaging one every 13.6 at-bats.

The Reds have gone 19-20 away from home. Cincinnati’s team on-base percentage of .326 is second in the National League. Jesse Winker leads the team with an OBP of .403.

The Twins won the last meeting 7-5. Matt Shoemaker earned his third victory and Miguel Sano went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs for Minnesota. Heath Hembree registered his third loss for Cincinnati.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cruz leads the Twins with 38 RBIs and is batting .298.

Winker leads the Reds with 17 home runs and has 43 RBIs.

LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 6-4, .249 batting average, 4.79 ERA, outscored by nine runs

Reds: 5-5, .252 batting average, 3.51 ERA, outscored opponents by eight runs

INJURIES: Twins: Devin Smeltzer: (elbow), Michael Pineda: (elbow), Edwar Colina: (elbow), Rob Refsnyder: (hamstring), Kyle Garlick: (hernia), Jake Cave: (back), Byron Buxton: (hand), Mitch Garver: (groin).

Reds: Michael Lorenzen: (shoulder), Jeff Hoffman: (shoulder), Sonny Gray: (groin), Michael Feliz: (elbow), Brandon Bailey: (elbow), Tejay Antone: (forearm), Nick Senzel: (knee), Max Schrock: (calf), Mike Moustakas: (heel), Alex Blandino: (hand).

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.