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Sons of Puerto Rico help Twins top Tribe in 16

Berrios sets tone with 7 scoreless; Rosario scores winning run
April 18, 2018

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- On a night that saw Puerto Rico native Jose Berrios turn in a dominant performance of seven scoreless innings against the Indians in front of his home crowd, it was fitting that fellow Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in the longest MLB

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- On a night that saw Puerto Rico native Jose Berrios turn in a dominant performance of seven scoreless innings against the Indians in front of his home crowd, it was fitting that fellow Puerto Rican Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in the longest MLB game ever held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Rosario, a Guayama native, sparked a rally in the 16th inning with a leadoff single off Josh Tomlin before going to third on an error from second baseman Jason Kipnis on what should've been a double play hit into by Logan Morrison. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Ryan LaMarre provided the walk-off single into center for a 2-1 win in the second and final game of the Puerto Rico series that saw each team win one game.
"They both handled it very well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Jose is never going to forget about this day and the biggest concern was getting him through that first inning with all that hype and expectation. I told him after the first inning, 'Now we go.' And sure enough, he did. Jose couldn't have done a better job and [Rosario] scored the winning run. 'Rosie' started the rally and finished it."
:: Puerto Rico Series coverage ::
Rosario couldn't contain his emotions after scoring the winning run, and Berrios joined the celebration on the field, never changing out of his uniform while watching the game's final nine innings.
"It was unforgettable -- this was one of the best nights of my life," Rosario said through an interpreter. "Being able to spend time here in Puerto Rico with my family and my friends, and them being able to watch me wear a Major League uniform."
The 5-hour, 13-minute game didn't see much offense, with neither team getting a hit with runners in scoring position until LaMarre's hit, but saw same late dramatics after the Twins fell behind 1-0 in the 14th on a go-ahead solo homer from Edwin Encarnacion off reliever Trevor Hildenberger. On the first pitch of the bottom of the 14th, Miguel Sano crushed a game-tying solo homer to left off Matt Belisle.

Berrios, who hails from Bayamon, showed his maturity, not letting his emotions get the best of him. It was evident that he was locked in after he struck out fellow Puerto Rico native Francisco Lindor on three pitches to open the game. Berrios scattered three hits, striking out five and throwing 84 pitches. He retired 16 in a row to finish his outing, including retiring 19 of the last 20 batters he faced.
"It was crazy, there were a lot of emotions going through my mind," Berrios said through an interpreter. "After the second inning, I was more concentrated. Tonight was a very important night for me and the island of Puerto Rico."

Berrios, 23, has a 1.63 ERA in four starts this year, including three outings of at least seven scoreless innings. He's walked only one batter all year compared to 29 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.

Berrios ran into only one jam, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the first, but got Encarnacion to roll over a first-pitch curveball on a grounder to third to end the inning. Berrios was on a roll after the first; he gave up a one-out single to Tyler Naquin in the second but didn't allow a baserunner after that.
But right-hander Carlos Carrasco was also impressive for the Indians, matching Berrios by throwing seven scoreless innings of his own. Carrasco gave up three hits and a walk but struck out seven.
Twins relievers Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Thomas Pressly and Taylor Rogers combined to throw 6 1/3 scoreless innings before Hildenberger served up Encarnacion's homer. Alan Busenitz threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win, working out of two jams.

"There wasn't much fault to find," Molitor said. "We had to pitch out of a couple jams. Reed was crisp, Rodney had a couple baserunners. But you go down the line. Pressly had a couple big innings. I'm glad they were fresh because we needed them."
Twins outfielder Max Kepler, who moved over from right field to center with Byron Buxton on the 10-day disabled list with migraines, suffered a right knee injury and was replaced by LaMarre in the 10th inning. Molitor said the injury isn't considered serious. Kepler tweaked the knee earlier in the game and felt discomfort while trying to run down a fly ball in the ninth.
"We think he's going to be OK," Molitor said. "He felt it a little bit earlier, and then when he went after that ball he felt it a little bit. So we thought it was best to get him out."

Berrios became the first Puerto Rican pitcher to throw seven scoreless innings at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in a regular-season game. He joins Javier Vazquez, Roberto Hernandez and Pedro Feliciano as the four Puerto Rico natives to pitch on their home island in the regular season.

It was also the first neutral site walk-off since June 29, 2010, when the Marlins won on an RBI single from Dan Uggla at this ballpark. The 16-inning game is also the longest MLB regular-season game ever played outside the continental United States or Canada.

"It was a great experience playing baseball here the last two days in front of our families. It was great honor to be here and do this." -- Berrios

After an off-day, right-hander Lance Lynn (0-1, 5.00 ERA) will take the mound in the opener of a three-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Lynn, who hasn't started since April 9, will start opposite Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer. After giving up five runs in his first inning of the season, Lynn has thrown eight straight scoreless innings but said he needs to pitch deeper into games.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.