Minnesota Wild and Twins get thrilling wins, minutes and a few miles apart

Jake Cave #60, Byron Buxton #25, and Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins celebrate their victory against the Texas Rangers at Target Field on May 3, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rangers 6-5. ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

Chances are if you’re a Minnesota sports fan with access to Bally Sports North, you had a busy night Monday with the remote control.

The Minnesota Twins and Wild, with just the Mississippi River as a few miles of separation, had each of their games end in thrilling finishes just a few minutes apart Monday as they’re at vastly different points in their seasons. The Wild, in front of as many as 3,000 fans at Xcel Energy Center, came back from a 5-3 deficit in the third period to rally for a 6-5 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Kevin Fiala got the Wild within 5-4 at 10:49 of the third period with his 20th goal of the season. With 92 seconds left in regulation, Kirill Kaprizov continued his impressive rookie season, tying the game 5-5 on an open rebound after an initial save on a Fiala shot.

But the Wild wasn’t done. Just 26 seconds later, Jonas Brodin scored the eventual game-winner with 1:06 to play on a wrist shot through traffic to prevail 6-5 over the Golden Knights, the top team in the Honda West. The Wild was staring at its third loss in four games, but remains in the No. 3 spot in the division with 70 points. They’re two points behind Colorado and four behind the Golden Knights with five regular season games remaining.

About 10 miles west over at Target Field, the Twins held off a late rally from the Texas Rangers in a 6-5 win. They appeared to be cruising, leading 5-0 after six innings after an RBI double from Alex Kirilloff, an RBI double from Jorge Polanco and a run-scoring single from Max Kepler.

The Rangers scored three in the eighth before Polanco delivered another RBI double to give the Twins a 6-3 lead heading to the ninth. Joey Gallo made things tense for the Twins with a two-run homer, but Taylor Rogers shut the door as the Twins got their fourth win in five games since falling to an American League worst 7-15.

Kenta Maeda had arguably his best start of the season, going into the sixth inning with a shutout while striking out eight and walking just two. The Twins improved to 11-16, and face former teammate Kyle Gibson Tuesday night.

For one night, it was fun to be a Twins and Wild fan, and watch the local teams win with identical 6-5 scores.