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Twins no-hit bid spoiled in ninth inning after gem from Joe Ryan

On a stellar night from Ryan, the Twins (70-70) got more than enough offense from their stars. Luis Arraez finished with three hits, Carlos Correa drove in three runs, hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help break the game open, and Jose Miranda reached base four times, also homering in the same inning.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins starter Joe Ryan pitches against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Target Field. Ryan went seven innings, not allowing a hit, walking two batters and striking out nine.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Ryan watched, arms draped over the first-base dugout railing as reliever Jovani Moran attempted to finish what he had started.

Ryan had thrown seven no-hit innings, but he was lifted after 106 pitches, despite a polite pleading with manager Rocco Baldelli. He had done all he could, turning in a brilliant effort, and all that was left for him to do was trust his teammates to take care of the rest.

After a perfect eighth inning, history was just within grasp. But in the end, the Minnesota Twins came up just short.

After striking out the first batter of the ninth inning, Moran ran into trouble, walking the next two hitters. Rookie Bobby Witt Jr. then delivered the first Royals hit of the game, breaking open the Twins’ combined bid with two outs to go. Though the Twins fell just shy, they hung on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Tuesday night at Target Field.

“That was a blast,” Baldelli said. “That was about as good of a start as I’ve seen, from him or anyone else. He seemed like he was getting even stronger in some ways as the start went on.”

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa doubles against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, at Target Field. Correa also hit a home-run, his 20th of the season.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports

Though he carried a no-hitter throughout his start, his bid for perfection was lost with the very first batter, M.J. Melendez, whom he walked. Melendez was the only Royals batter to reach in Ryan’s seven innings, walking twice. Ryan struck out nine Royals (57-85).

His solo bid was spoiled by a high pitch count, ratcheted up by Royals hitters fouling off 32 pitches throughout his seven innings. When Baldelli approached him in the dugout to pat him on the back and tell him his night was over, Ryan reminded him that he once threw 156 pitches in a game.

His light pleading didn’t do anything to sway Baldelli — with the Twins (70-70) trying to catch the Cleveland Guardians, extending Ryan past 106 pitches was simply not an option in his mind.

“He said, ‘Listen, I’ve thrown like 156 pitches in a game,’ which is fantastical, but I think true,” Baldelli said. “But all that said, it doesn’t really affect what goes on here and the fact that we need him to go pitch against the Guardians later on this week. He mentioned that. He mentioned to me, he goes, ‘I am upset, but I absolutely understand why I’m not going back out there next inning.’”

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins first baseman Jose Miranda jogs around the bases after hitting a home run in the fifth inning Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. It was Miranda's 15th home run of the season.
Brad Rempel / USA Today Sports

While Ryan understood the decision, the Target Field crowd was quick to voice its displeasure. When Moran jogged out of the bullpen to begin the eighth, it elicited boos from the crowd that was hoping to see Ryan have a chance at the rare feat.

Still, they had a chance at a combined bid — which would’ve been the first in team history.

“I wanted to help and be part of that no-hitter,” Moran said. “But that’s part of the game, and of course I’m going to get mad because I wanted to do my best and get that out. But it happens.”

The pitch to Witt Jr., catcher Gary Sanchez said, was a missed location — they were trying to go up and outside the zone but instead missed middle-middle. Three runs wound up scoring in the ninth, but the Twins had built a big enough lead to sustain, thanks to more than enough offense from their stars.

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Luis Arraez finished with three hits, Carlos Correa drove in three runs, hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help break the game open, and Jose Miranda reached base four times, also homering in the same inning. That performance, Baldelli said, allowed them to just sit back and watch Ryan pitch without thinking about anything else.

“He gave us all those amazing feelings when you see a guy just pitching a gem,” Baldelli said.

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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