Twins fall in New York, swept in season series by Yankees

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NEW YORK — Yankee Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Twins in the recent past. A spell of rain that disrupted Thursday night’s game for nearly an hour in the sixth inning forced the Twins to be trapped there even longer.

At least the good news for the Twins after a prolonged night at the ballpark is that they’re done with the New York Yankees in the 2024 regular season.

And the bad news?

They lost all six games they played against New York, falling on Thursday 8-5 to the Yankees on a day where starter Pablo López was uncharacteristically out of the strike zone.

“I think it was just lack of feel for everything,” the starter said. “ … I just kept getting in a deeper hole, inning after inning. That’s exactly what I should not be doing.”

López walked six Yankees (45-19), the most in a single game in his career. The two batters he walked in the first inning didn’t hurt him. The other four certainly did, all coming around to score.

He began his third inning of work by issuing walks to Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Two scored when Gleyber Torres sent a single to right and the third scored on a sacrifice fly, turning a tied game into a three-run deficit.

“I’ve had games this season I walk away and I’m like, ‘Man, I wonder what could have been different today?’ It’s pretty obvious. Six walks. Hit by pitch,” López said. “That’s seven free passes right there against a lineup as good as this one. You’re just giving them fuel.”

An inning earlier, it was a pitch left in the heart of the zone that hurt him: Trent Grisham hammered a first-pitch fastball for a two-run blast.

All told, Lopez gave up seven runs. It marked the third game in his last four in which he has given up at least six runs. Two of those starts have seen him give up seven runs.

“It was really all about the command. It’s not like they hit the ball around the ballpark on him,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It was just when there’s that many baserunners out there, guys are going to score. They almost have to score.”

While the Twins (33-29) tried to claw their way back, they were never able to pull even after the third inning.
Carlos Correa and Christian Vázquez homered in the loss, a positive sign for the catcher who has had a difficult time of it at the plate but now has extra-base hits in each of his past two games.

Three more runs scored in the fifth inning, including one on a ball that Max Kepler hit to left that Judge seemed to give up on as he got closer to the wall. But though the Twins brought the tying run to the plate in both the sixth and eighth innings, they were unable to convert on either opportunity, sending them away from their perennial tormentors winless.

“Six games and you lose all six, that’s not easy to swallow,” Baldelli said. “You’re not going to take a lot of positives about it and feel good about almost anything.”

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