The Twins scored 10 runs in a span of three innings against the Yankees on Tuesday night and held on for a 10-5 win. >> Box score
1) Sonny Gray struggled in a spot start situation, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits in three innings. Gray walked three batters, struck out two, and threw 63 pitches.
2) Four of the Yankees' five runs came via a grand slam by Didi Gregorius on a night when the Twins hit a grand slam of their own. Miguel Andujar and Gregorius each had two hits -- Gregorius hit a triple -- and Andrew McCutchen had the Yankees' only other hit of the game. The Yankees had runners in scoring position twice and went 1-for-2 in those situations.
3) Jonathan Loaisiga allowed six runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. He struggled with control as well, walking three batters. Tommy Khanle allowed the Twins' 10th run in 1 2/3 innings, while Stephen Tarpley got things under control with two scoreless innings.
Highlights from Monday's game
That'll cut into the lead. pic.twitter.com/rQITITjfpu- New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 12, 2018
Speedy Didi gives us the early lead. pic.twitter.com/KIEfXmKbsr- New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 12, 2018
The Yankees have to win ballgames to maintain a slight edge over the Oakland Athletics in the standings. Tonight, the Yankees chose a path concerning themselves with getting rest for some of their primary starters, which turned them to Gray for a spot start.
Gray had not pitched well while this season in a solid routine, so how did the Yanks believe that the result would be positive after last appearing in a game nine days ago and not starting since August 25?
In my view, if the Yankees were eight games ahead of the A's in the standings, then it would make some sense to get the top rotation arms some extra rest. However, with the A's breathing down the Yankees' necks for the top spot in the wild card game, it seems to me sticking to the schedule and getting wins right now would have mattered more.
Sonny Gray (10-8, 4.96 ERA) and the Yankees face Kohl Stewart (0-1, 5.06 ERA) and the Twins in the second game of a three-game series on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. at Target Field.