MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 Tuesday night at Target Field, but the talk after the game was about Joe Ryan’s night.
Ryan pitched seven no-hit innings, striking out nine, but wasn’t given the chance to finish off the possible no-hitter. Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli gave him a handshake and a pat on the shoulder after that inning, and told him his night was over after 106 pitches. Twins’ fans and social media didn’t like the move, wanting Ryan to get a chance to finish off a historic night.
Instead, Jovani Moran got through a clean eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts. But the bid for a combined no-hitter ended on Bobby Witt Jr.’s run-scoring double with one out. There have been four no-hitters in Major League Baseball this season, and three of them have involved at least two pitchers.
Cameras showed Ryan with a sad face in the dugout after the exchange. He’s just happy the Twins got a win.
"I wouldn’t say sad, just competitive energy. You’re going for it, so you just want to stay in the game. We talked about it and it made sense. We’re in a playoff hunt and we’ve got a game in five days, so I’d rather be fresh for that than try to do something here and keep going, throw 130-140 pitches in September when we’ve got other plans ahead of us," Ryan told Fox 9 Sports Director Jim Rich before Wednesday night’s game. "Just great to get a win at the end of the night, that’s the most important thing."
Ryan was pulled because of a high pitch count after seven innings. The Twins have a five-game series at Cleveland starting Friday, and they’ll need Ryan as they make one last push to get back in the American League Central Division race. Entering Wednesday night’s game, the Twins trailed the Guardians by five games with 22 to play.
In 2009, the Twins came back from five games down with 18 to play to force a Game 163.