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Twins hit 6 homers, 3 off of deGrom, in New York

@ladsonbill24
April 10, 2019

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Jacob deGrom is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, but one wouldn’t necessarily know it the way the Twins handled him in a 14-8 victory over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field. How dominating was deGrom prior to Tuesday’s tilt? He had

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Jacob deGrom is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, but one wouldn’t necessarily know it the way the Twins handled him in a 14-8 victory over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

How dominating was deGrom prior to Tuesday’s tilt? He had pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings and added another inning to the total before the Twins ended the streak in the second inning. Twins catcher Mitch Garver started things off by homering over the center-field wall off an 0-1 pitch in the top of the second inning.

Garver knew beforehand that he was going to have a game to remember. He was playing the video game Fortnite earlier in the day and told teammate Stephen Gonsalves that he was going to hit a slider and homer off deGrom.

“We like to mess around and play video games and I told him. That’s how it happened,” Garver said.

The Mets tied the score in the bottom of the frame thanks to an Amed Rosario RBI double, but deGrom’s third inning proved it just wasn’t his day. Jorge Polanco scored on a wild pitch, while Eddie Rosario and Garver homered to make it a four-run game. deGrom's quality starts streak came to an end at 26 games, tying Bob Gibson in the history books.

Usually, deGrom makes hitters uncomfortable. Not on this day. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said there was no set game plan when it came to facing deGrom.

“I can’t say [hitting deGrom] was due to a game plan,” Baldelli said. “It was probably our guys ready to be aggressive. He does come at people. He can come to you and still get bad swings at times and miss bats. When he did come in the zone our guys were ready, and we were ready to get on top of the ball. We were just ready to hit strikes.

“He throws a lot of strikes and we were ready for them. It just happened to work out. I can’t say it was because of any grand plan or anything like that.”

The Twins were able to tack on another run against deGrom an inning later. Byron Buxton, who led off with a double, scored the sixth run of the game on a single by Max Kepler.

“We are just going to attack all the time,” Garver said. “Our guys are aggressive. There are no rules on taking pitches or anything. We just want to get out there, we want to swing, we want to do damage. We want to attack the baseball. You see our lineup. There is a lot of power all the way through.”

When it was all said and done, the Twins had eleven hard-hit balls (95 mph or more off the bat) off deGrom. That ties for the second-most he’s allowed in any start since 2015 (he allowed 14 hard-hit balls on June 18, 2018, against the Rockies at Coors Field).

deGrom was gone by the time the Twins added to their lead in the sixth inning, when Jonathan Schoop hit a line-drive homer off right-hander Seth Lugo to make it 7-3.

"You've got to give credit to their hitters,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “They didn't miss it when [deGrom] made a mistake. Even without great command, Jacob deGrom is a great pitcher. And you've got to give credit to their hitters. Garver went deep twice off deGrom which will probably never happen again. They did a good job of barreling a lot of balls up tonight, not only off of Jacob. They have a talented team. We're going to have to come ready to play tomorrow."

By the time the game ended, the Twins had collected 17 hits and improved their record to 6-3.

“It’s a lineup that everybody in the [American League] Central has to figure out how to navigate it,” said Twins starter Kyle Gibson, who received a no-decision in this game. “It’s a lineup where you look up and down -- even the guys that we have on the bench -- there is no let-up. We have a lineup that is going to make people think, ‘Man, we have to get this guy here.’ You just can’t do that. We don’t have any let-up. It’s pretty fun to watch night in and night out.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.