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Max Kepler hits walk-off, saves Twins after blowing seven-run lead

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The Twins hung an eight-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning against Astros starter Lance McCullers, two of which scored on a Max Kepler home run, to take an 8-1 lead. But the Twins watched that seven-run lead evaporate as the Astros scored four runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, then rallied for two more runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game.

Kepler saved the Twins in the bottom of the ninth, drilling a 3-2 slider from Brad Peacock into the stands in right field for a walk-off solo home run, his second dinger of the day.

According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Twins manager Paul Molitor was talking extra-innings strategy with his coaches when Kepler hit his walk-off home run. Kepler didn’t want to see the game go into extras.

Kepler is now batting .281/.395/.625 with three home runs, five RBI, and four runs scored in 38 plate appearances on the season.

The Twins, now 6-4, won two of three games against the defending World Series champions. They went 1-5 against them last year.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.