The Cubs traveled to Minneapolis to begin a three-game series with the Twins on Friday night in what promsises to be a tough test. Chicago fell behind early before a couple of young players came through to propel them to victory.
The Twins struck first against Drew Smyly in the bottom of the 2nd inning when an infield single and a double put two men on base for Michael A. Taylor, who hit a ground ball to third base. Patrick Wisdom attempted to get the runner at the plate but the throw was wide, allowing a run to score. Catcher Christian Vázquez added a sacrifice fly and it was 2-0 for the home team.
Sonny Gray was piling up the strikeouts early with seven through the first four innings. The Cubs cut the lead in half with a sac fly by Seiya Suzuki in the 4th, and Smyly settled in nicely to keep his team down only a run with six strong innings of work.
Chicago was able to get to reliever Griffin Jax in the 7th when rookie Matt Mervis crushed a game-tying double to center field. Yan Gomes followed with a groundball single past first to give the road team a 3-2 advantage.
Morel support! pic.twitter.com/YtKbQEJsVu
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 13, 2023
Carlos Correa came up twice with men on base with a chance to put Minnesota ahead and he hit into double plays both times. It’s nice to see a Cubs opponent struggle with runners in scoring position for a change.
Why the Cubs Won
They were able to come through with a couple big extra-base hits and once again they got an excellent start from their pitcher.
Stats That Matter
- Smyly continues to be very solid on the mound this season: 6 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 4 K, and 1 BB.
- Ian Happ had three hits, including a double, on Friday.
- Wisdom had two hits as well and appears to be heating back up.
- The double was the first major league extra-base hit for Mervis, but it will not be the last.
This was a huge win for the Cubs against one of the best hurlers in the American League. Friday demonstrated what kind of impact Mervis and Morel can have on a lineup. They have the kind of power that can change a game with a single swing, and it gives Chicago a much deeper and scarier batting order.