Minnesota Twins pitcher Bailey Ober throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 23, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
The three walks Bailey Ober gave issued in the first two innings of his start on Sunday matched a career high, but they didn’t mark a sign of things to come. While Ober was bitten by some early-inning control problems, he quickly settled in and gave the Twins a performance they needed, helping them stop a three-game slide.
Ober’s 5 2/3 innings, some solid defense and just enough offense helped the Twins to a 3-1 victory on Sunday afternoon in the series finale against the Nationals at Target Field, staving off a sweep in the process.
Making his first start of the season, Ober issued a walk to a pair of batters in the first inning before allowing a double to Keibert Ruiz, giving the Nationals the lead at the time.
But for the remainder of his outing, he didn’t allow a runner to reach second base. Ober did allow a pair of hits in the fifth inning — he only gave up three in his start — but some good defense helped him out of the inning. Catcher Ryan Jeffers corralled a short bunt, rifling it to second to start a double play. And after Alex Call’s a two-out single for the Nationals, Ober himself caught him stealing and he wound up in a run down.
Ober got some help from Jorge Polanco and Michael A. Taylor, a former World Series winner with the Nationals, who both homered in the fourth inning to give the Twins the lead. Polanco, in his third game back from the injured list, finished with three hits, bringing in another run on a single in the fifth inning.