The Cincinnati Reds scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning Monday night in Target Field. And it wasn’t enough to beat the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins matched the Reds with two runs in the bottom of the 10th off relief pitcher Sean Doolittle.
Minnesota then applied a not-so-swift sword, a two-run, walk-off home run in the 12th inning by Miguel Sano to win 7-5 in a game that took 5 hours, 14 minutes to play.
The big blast came off Cincinnati’s Heath Hembree, extending the Reds losing streak to five games and extending Minnesota’s winning streak to five games.
It also dropped the Reds back below .500 at 35-36, and was only their third loss in 11 extra inning game.
Manager David Bell used 21 players, nine pitchers, in desperately trying to pull this one out. But his team was 3 for 18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners.
The Twins stranded 18 runners but got the four they needed in extra innings to get the job done.
Nick Castellanos was 0 for 4 and had two strikes on him leading off the 10th but shot a sharp single to right field to score ghost runner Mike Freeman to break a 3-3 tie.
Eugenio Suarez, who hit a two-run home run earlier in the game, lofted a sacrifice fly to add a second run in the inning, giving the Reds a 5-3 lead.
The Twins quickly retaliated in the bottom of the 10th off Sean Doolittle.
Luis Arraez doubled to score the ghost runner and Sano, hitting .175, fouled off three two-strike pitches and singled to left to re-tie it, 5-5.
The Twins scored first, plating three runs during a 38-pitch third inning by starter Tyler Mahle.
It began with a home run by Nelson Cruz. Mahle walked Max Kepler on a full count, Jorge Polanco singled and Alex Kirihoff singled to make it 2-0. Mahle issued another walk and a sacrifice fly by Arraez made it 3-0.
The Twins filled the bases before Mahle struck out Trevor Larnach.
The Reds tied it with runs in the fourth with a pair of thunderbolts by Suarez and Aristides Aquino. Tyler Stephenson opened the inning with a walk and Suarez unloaded a long home run to left field. Aquino followed immediately with a home run to tie it, 3-3.
And that’s the way it stood until the 10th inning.
With the score 3-3 in the eighth, the Twins filled the bases and Amir Garrett literally saved the inning with a hockey goalie kick save. Larnach shot one back through the mound that ricocheted off Garrett’s foot. He quickly chased it down and threw out Larnach to end the inning.
The Twins loaded the bases again in the ninth against Lucas Sims on two singles and a walk with one out.
He went to 3-and-0 on Ryan Jeffers and roared back to strike him out looking. Sims then induced an inning ground ball to leave it 3-3.
The Reds, too, had opportunities in the first nine innings. They put the leadoff hitter on base five times, but only scored in the third.
Neither team scored in the 11th, but Tyler Naquin, playing left field, saved the game with a catch after a long run in front of the wall on Andrelton Simmons that would have ended the game.
The Reds loaded the bases with two outs in the 12th, but Twins relief pitcher Matt Shoemaker struck out Eugenio Suarez.
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