MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After sitting four powerful right-handed bats against Atlanta All-Star starter Mike Soroka, Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli had plenty of pinch-hitting options late in another close game against a likely playoff team.
Baldelli chose wisely with the surging Miguel Sanó and Minnesota came up with another meaningful win.
Sanó’s pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth inning gave Minnesota a 5-3 victory over the Braves on Monday night. The home run came after working with assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez inside during the game.
With Mitch Garver, C.J. Cron, and Jonathan Schoop all available, Sanó entered and hit the first pitch he saw for his 19th home run of the season and the first pinch-hit, walkoff home run for the Twins since Michael Cuddyer against the Los Angeles Angels in 2006 at the Metrodome.
Sanó’s homer went an estimated 443 feet off reliever Chris Martin, hitting high off the wall in center field. Martin (0-3) was making his second appearance for Atlanta since being acquired at the trade deadline. He got two quick outs before allowing a single to Luis Arraez in front of Sanó.
Trevor May (5-3) pitched two innings with one hit allowed for the Twins, who have won four in a row to stretch their lead over Cleveland in the AL Central to four games. They’ve won nine of their past 11 games.
The Braves have lost three of four and are 12-11 since the All-Star break.
IOWA CITY — Considered a weakness heading into last season Iowa’s linebacker corps is considered a strength this year. After starting six games a year ago and recording 49 tackles Kristian Welch opens preseason practice as the Hawkeyes’ starting middle linebacker.
Welch feels the linebackers could be a strength of the defense.
The Hawkeyes open August 31 at home against Miami of Ohio.
AMES — Iowa State coach Matt Campbell says Ray Lima’s impact on the Cyclone program goes well beyond his play on the field. The senior nose tackle was a second team All Big 12 selection a year ago but the run stopper from Los Angeles has also had a big impact off the field. Lima has been involved in several community service activities in and around the Ames area.
Campbell says Lima’s humble nature has served as a great example for the other players.
Campbell says Lima is the best example of why the culture of the program has turned around.
Lima wants to be known as more than just a football player.
Lima appreciates the words of coach Campbell.
Lima says the attitude of the program has shifted the past couple of years.
Iowa State opens the season on August 31st against UNI.