ARLINGTON, Texas — Two years ago to the day, it took the Twins 17 innings to eke out a win over the Red Sox, winning a marathon game that required a combined effort from nine pitchers.
The rules have changed since then, offenses now aided by an automatic runner starting every extra inning on second base. So two years later, the Twins didn’t need 17 innings to vanquish the Rangers; they just needed 10. They didn’t need to tap into their entire bullpen; they just needed to rely on their most reliable.
Luis Arraez’s triple to lead off the 10th as well two-bases loaded walks helped the Twins to a 7-5 victory on Friday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, their second straight win.
While the Arraez hit brought home the first run of the inning, the four walks the Twins drew in the 10th inning — one intentional to Nelson Cruz — helped put a game the Rangers had been playing catch up all night in out of reach.
When the Twins scored three runs in the first inning — loading the bases with no outs and then pushing home all three runners — Texas responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. In the fourth, the Rangers tied the game only to see the Twins take a lead in the very next half inning on Trevor Larnach’s fourth career home run, staking starter Jose Berríos again to a lead.
By this point in the season, the Twins have to be pretty confident they know what they’re getting when they send Berrios out to the bump. It’s never been more than four runs, and only once been less than five innings.
What they get from the bullpen behind him has been an adventure all season long, but after Jorge Alcala allowed a seventh-inning home run to Adolis García, his 17th of the season, to tie the game once more, Taylor Rogers and Hansel Robles each turned in a perfect inning to send the game to extras and Tyler Duffey nailed down the save, stranding a pair of runners on the corners.