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David Hess taken out in seventh inning of no-hit bid

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Orioles starter David Hess brought a no-hitter into the seventh inning Monday evening against the Blue Jays in Toronto. The right-hander got the first out of the inning. Then, with only 82 pitches to his ledger, first-year manager Brandon Hyde decided to pull Hess from the game.

Pedro Araujo came in and proceded to walk Justin Smoak, then lost both the no-hitter and the shutout when Randal Grichuk slugged a two-run home run to left-center field, closing the Jays’ deficit to 6-2. The hits kept coming as Rowdy Tellez singled up the middle, but Araujo found his way out of trouble, inducing an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Teoscar Hernández.

The decision to lift Hess will understandably come under scrutiny, especially since things went so poorly afterwards. However, the 25-year-old tossed 42 pitches in two scoreless innings of relief on Opening Day against the Yankees. Hyde likely didn’t want to force his young pitcher to have to throw 150 pitches in the span of four days.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

Max Kepler
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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.