Twins lose wild extra-innings game to Yankees in Louie Varland’s big league pitching debut

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NEW YORK — There was a little bit of everything on Wednesday — and that was only in the first game of the Twins-Yankees doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

There was good defense — a sliding stop and strong throw from Carlos Correa to a stretching Luis Arraez at first base ended the ninth inning and sent the game to extras, and a 3-2-3 double play in the 11th inning helped keep it going.

There was bad defense — the Twins committed four errors in the later innings of the game, making things harder for their pitchers.

There was a major league debut — St. Paul native Louie Varland turned in a strong performance across 5 1/3 innings but eventually finished with a no-decision when Griffin Jax surrendered a game-tying home run in the sixth.

There was a head-scratching send from Twins third-base coach Tommy Watkins in the 10th inning — one which came on a play that wasn’t even close enough for Gilberto Celestino to bother sliding.

But ultimately, after it all, after a hard-fought, 12-inning game in which the Twins skirted their way out of trouble throughout the late innings, they tumbled to a 5-4 loss in the first game of the doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

With the score tied since the sixth inning, Celestino finally broke the game open in the top of the 12th, shooting a single up the first-base line to plate automatic runner Jermaine Palacios. The Twins, despite having the bases loaded with one out for Carlos Correa and Jose Miranda, could not pad their lead, which came around to hurt them immediately when the first batter in the bottom of the 12th, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, singled up the middle off Trevor Megill to tie the game once more.

The Yankees walked the game off later in the inning when Oswaldo Cabrera singled to left.

Megill had entered in a save situation after the Twins’ high leverage arms did all they could to keep the game tied before him. Caleb Thielbar and Jorge López covered the seventh and eighth innings, respectively; Jhoan Duran pitched over three errors in the ninth and 10th, and Michael Fulmer worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation to keep the game tied in the 11th.

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