Cahill guides Pittsburgh to 6-2 victory over Twins

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Phil Miller, Star Tribune
·1 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

There was a time when Trevor Cahill could dominate the Twins, could frustrate them with his soft-serve sinkers, could shut them down cold into the late innings and earn his team a lopsided victory.

That time was 2009. And 2021.

Cahill, whose last victory over the Twins came in the Metrodome a dozen years ago, enjoyed a remarkably nostalgic performance on Saturday. The journeyman Pittsburgh righthander easily retired 18 of the 22 hitters he faced, including the final 13, to deliver the Pirates a 6-2 victory at the Metrodome's replacement, Target Field.

Jake Cave doubled home Jorge Polanco, who had walked, in the second inning off Cahill, and then doubled and scored the Twins' other run in the eighth off reliever Duane Underwood. But Minnesota only managed one other hit all day, and was held to two or fewer runs for the seventh time in 10 games.

Cahill came into the game with a 9.69 ERA in three starts for Pittsburgh, his ninth MLB team, but peeled off more than 2 1/2 runs in six mostly effortless innings, reducing it to 7.11.

The game had the opposite effect on Twins starter Michael Pineda, who suffered his first defeat in a performance as out-of-the-blue as Cahill's. The righthander, whose ERA was 1.00 in his first three starts, gave up five runs on six hits, including back-to-back home runs by Pittsburgh's eighth- and ninth-place hitters, catcher Michael Perez and shortstop Kevin Newman, neither of whom had hit one this season.

The Twins dropped to 7-12 on the season, tied for the fewest wins in the majors so far in 2021.