Tue Jun 22 7:24am ET
After playing a five-hour, 14-minute game on Monday night that was the longest regular-season contest in the majors since 2019, the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins have less than 12 hours to prepare for the Tuesday afternoon series finale in Minneapolis.
Miguel Sano's two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning won the marathon contest for Minnesota, 7-5, extending the Twins' winning streak to a season-best five games.
"This was beyond a roller coaster," said Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli of the night that began with an emotional pregame tribute to late Twins bench coach Mike Bell, who died of kidney cancer at the age of 46 in March. "It was a heckuva night. I was very proud of the way our guys handled everything and battled."
Bell is the younger brother of Cincinnati manager David Bell.
The Twins' postgame elation, which came from Sano's homer off the Reds' ninth pitcher of the game, Heath Hembree, to end the contest in walk-off fashion, soon gave way to a big low in the locker room. The team learned center field Byron Buxton suffered a boxer's fracture of his left hand when hit by a Tyler Mahle pitch in the fourth inning.
Buxton remained in the game until Nick Gordon took his place in the sixth. The team originally announced that Buxton had a left-hand contusion.
Baldelli said he "wasn't going to put a timeline" on how long Buxton, the American League's Player of the Month in April, would be sidelined. Buxton, who is hitting .369 with 10 homers and 19 RBIs in 27 games, had just been activated from the injured list on Saturday after missing 39 games because of a right-hip injury.
"He's going to miss some time, obviously," Baldelli said. "I feel immensely for him and what he's going through right now because this is very tough on anyone. No one should have to deal with what Buck is going through right now, and none of it is through any fault of his own. ... Tough night, and I feel for him a lot."
Right-hander Bailey Ober (0-0, 3.71 ERA) will start for the Twins on Tuesday. He will be opposed by left-hander Wade Miley (6-4, 2.88).
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Ober will make just his fifth career start and first against the Reds. He allowed one hit over four shutout innings in his latest outing, at Seattle on Wednesday, a 7-2 Twins win. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter but left after throwing 63 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Miley is 1-0 with a 4.86 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against Minnesota, including 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two appearances (one start) at Target Field.
Bell will count on Miley to go deep into Tuesday's game after using eight relievers for 7 1/3 innings on Monday night. Mahle left after throwing 93 pitches in just four innings, but the much-maligned Reds bullpen combined to blank the Twins on five hits until extra innings.
"Our bullpen, what an unbelievable job they did to give us an opportunity to win that game," Bell said. "A bunch of big outs, a lot of big innings, guys coming through. We gave ourselves an opportunity, and that's really all that you can ask for. They were outstanding tonight for a long time."
--Field Level Media
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