Multiple baseballs were harmed in the playing of this game
Whatever the baseballs involved in Tuesday’s night 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins did to wrong Franmil Reyes, they would be well served not to do it again. Two balls deposited into the left field bleachers were declared dead on arrival as Cleveland’s designated hitter took Twins starter Kenta Maeda deep twice for a pair of no-doubt solo shots, one to tie the game in the second inning and the other to plate the go-ahead run in the sixth.
Reyes has been red hot at the plate of late, slashing .355/.375/.645 in his last eight games. He was previously 1-for-14 against Maeda in his career, but Tuesday night was a different story. Reyes crushed the first pitch he saw from Maeda, a hanging slider that left his bat at 111.3 mph and went 452 feet. His second homer was on a first-pitch fastball that was up and in.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 27, 2021
The only thing that could stop Reyes, who finished the game 3-for-4, was home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi, who rang him up in the eighth on this called third strike:
It was a back and forth game for five innings before Reyes broke the stalemate in the sixth. Jake Bauers added an insurance run shortly thereafter, doubling off the wall in right center to score Josh Naylor from second with two outs in the inning. Bauers, for whom fans have all but booked a ticket out of Cleveland due to his struggles at the plate, had a pair of hits and a walk on the night.
Aaron Civale gutted out 7.2 innings to give Cleveland the chance to pull ahead late. It was impressive that he even made it to the eighth inning after surrendering an RBI triple to Nelson Cruz in the first inning, followed by Alex Kirilloff RBI single to give the Twins an early 2-0 lead. Civale gave up eight hits in the game and four of them came in the first two innings.
The Twins put the barrel to the ball on more than a few occasions, whiffing on only 11 of Civale’s 99 pitches. Trouble brewed again in the fourth after Willians Astudillo tied the game with an RBI single before a Jake Cave double put runners at second and third with one out. But Civale worked his way out of it, thanks in large part to a heads-up play by José Ramírez to throw home on an infield grounder. He battled until there was nothing left in the tank, surrendering a solo home run to Byron Buxton on his final pitch before hitting the showers.
Offensively, José Ramírez got things going for Cleveland in the first with a solo home run to cut the Twins’ lead to 2-1. After Reyes knotted the score in the second, the team was able to take the lead in the third. With Cesar Hernandez on second with two outs, Ramirez popped a fly ball to left field, but Kirilloff misplayed it and attempted a failed basket catch that allowed Hernandez to score.
Twins reliever Alex Colomé, fresh off being demoted from the closer role after serving up Monday night’s walk-off home run to Jordan Luplow, notched a pair of strikeouts in the eighth inning of a one-run game but also hit Naylor with a pitch and walked three batters. He exited after walking in a run to extend Cleveland’s lead to 6-4. Jorge Alcala took over from there and proceeded to hit Luplow in the arm, driving in another run. Eight batters came to the plate in the eighth, none of them put the ball in play, and Cleveland still managed to score two runs.
James Karinchak, whom the broadcast compared to “a caged lion” when he was pacing the dugout during the bottom of the eighth inning, pitched a scoreless ninth.