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Payback is a Twin: Twins 8, Phillies 1

So much for that run differential boost.

Minnesota Twins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

One night after notching a blowout win over the Twins, the Phillies suffered a blowout loss of their own at the hands of Minnesota. Pablo Lopez shut down the Phillies offense through six innings and Taijuan Walker struggled with command and the Phillies bullpen couldn’t keep the Twins lineup in the yard. The game ended streaks for both teams, as the Phillies had their three-game winning streak snapped and the Twins ended a four-game losing streak in which they were outscored 31-7.

Early struggles again for Walker

In each of his last three starts, Taijuan Walker struggled with his velocity in the first inning but battled through it and went deep into the game. The first inning woes continued again to the tune of three full counts, three walks, and a run allowed on 22 pitches.

However, this time Walker was never quite able to settle in despite only allowing three runs in five innings. He set a new season high in walks with 6, the most Walker’s had in a game this season since walking five in 7 innings in an 8-4 win on July 5th. He allowed just three hits, but two of them were home runs to Matt Wallner and Joey Gallo.

Offense shut down

Pablo Lopez meanwhile dominated the Phillies lineup through six shutout innings. He allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 7. The right hander generated 18 whiffs on 92 pitches, with 9 coming off his fastball.

The Phillies did not collect their first hit until a Nick Castellanos single in the fourth inning after the score was already 3-0. The hit did extend Castellanos’ current hitting streak to 13 games. Trea Turner also extended his current hitting streak to 9 games with two singles, a walk, and scored a run on a Rodolfo Castro groundout in the seventh inning.

Philadelphia’s 1-3 hitters Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm, and Bryce Harper went a combined 1-13 with 4 strikeouts. A Harper double where he was eventually stranded at second was the only time they reached base. As a whole, the Phillies finished the night 0-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.

Not keeping it close

Matt Strahm pitched a scoreless inning with three strikeouts in relief of Walker in the sixth, but the floodgates opened in the seventh. Gregory Soto started the inning with a strikeout of Jorge Polanco before Carlos Correa blasted a home run to left field to push the score to 4-0.

Soto then allowed a double, a single, and a walk before Wallner punched a single up the middle to plate another run to make it 5-0. Yunior Marte took over with runners at the corners and one out and got an out on a fielder’s choice at home plate from Christian Vasquez. But then Gallo launched a mammoth three run home run to right that gave him his second homer of the night and put the game out of reach. Gallo finished the night 4-4 and reached base all five times including a walk.

On deck

The Phillies will finish their series with the Twins as well as their ten game homestand Sunday afternoon at 1:35. Ranger Suarez (2-5, 3.96 ERA) takes the mound for Philadelphia against Sonny Gray (5-5, 3.18 ERA) for Minnesota.