CLEVELAND — It’s easy to wonder what the American League Central race would be without so many late Twins bullpen blowups against the Cleveland Guardians.
The Twins lost five games in June to Cleveland — games they should have won — that meant the difference between a one-game lead in the division and an 11-game lead.
It’s also easy to wonder what the month of September would have been like had the Twins been even marginally healthier. Just a couple weeks ago, in early September, the Twins had pulled back into a first-place tie with the Guardians. But the two teams have gone in the complete opposite direction since then, the banged-up Twins sputtering in September and the much-healthier Guardians pulling away.
So Monday’s game — an 11-4 Twins loss to the Guardians at Progressive Field — was perhaps an ending befitting of a disastrous season series against the Guardians. It ended with a loss in which Twins saw two players — Sonny Gray and Sandy León — leave early with injury.
The Twins leave town seven games out of first place in the division with 15 left to play, their postseason hopes dashed after a series in which they lost four of five games while fielding lineups that were far from what they had hoped.
On Monday, starting pitcher Sonny Gray was forced out after just two innings — he gave up four runs — by right hamstring tightness, an issue that landed him on the injured list in April and forced him out of a starter earlier this month.
León, who has been dealing with a knee issue, left shortly after that with right knee inflammation.
The Twins never recovered from the early hole, and after they pulled within a run, Amed Rosario, who has spent the season series torturing the Twins, hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to let the Guardians pull away for good.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)