Bailey Ober near his best in dominant outing

12 May 2024

TORONTO >> Was it his best start ever?

Rocco Baldelli thinks it might have been for Bailey Ober. The 6-foot-9 right-hander isn’t so sure — he recalls another outing a couple years ago in which he also struck out 10 batters and pitched into the eighth inning.

The Blue Jays? Well, they probably think so.

Ober threw 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, allowing just one hit in the Twins’ 5-1 win over Toronto. He walked none. Just one of the 20 batters he faced — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who singled in the fourth inning — reached base in a nearly unhittable outing for Ober.

After the Blue Jays made Ober work in the first inning — he threw 20 pitches and each at-bat lasted at least six pitches — he said he shifted his mindset.

“It was just, ‘Get ahead early.’ I feel like once I was able to do that, I was able to get in a groove and kind of be in control of the game,” Ober said. “Just execute some pitches early and put guys away late.”

Ober got nine swing-and-misses on his four-seam fastball in the start, using that pitch to pick up most of his early strikeouts.

“Today, I felt like they weren’t as on time as other teams have been this season. So, I was able to lean on that a little bit more, really just kind of execute that at the top of the zone late in counts where maybe they were sitting offspeed,” he said.

His outing ended after a 10-pitch at-bat from Daulton Varsho, one which Ober finished with a strikeout, the perfect way for him to punctuate one of his most dominant starts.

It was the first time he eclipsed the 100-pitch mark this season and the second time he had pitched into the seventh inning.

“He was just fantastic,” Baldelli said. “I told him, ‘I think that’s absolutely one of your best outings that I’ve ever seen,’ and he’s had a ton of great outings.”

Buxton progressing

Byron Buxton did not make the trip to Canada with his teammates — but the Twins did receive some good news from back home about the center fielder.

“He’s doing good,” Baldelli said. “He’s running, so it’s good news. He’s feeling better.”

Buxton is on the injured list with right knee inflammation — it’s the same knee that he’s twice had surgically repaired — and has been since May 3. At the time, the Twins were hoping Buxton’s stay on the injured list would be close to the 10-day minimum.


The Twins will have Monday off before taking on the New York Yankees this week at Target Field. Chris Paddack, Pablo López and Joe Ryan are scheduled to make starts in that series. … Edouard Julien put on a show in his home country, collecting two hits in both Saturday and Sunday’s games. Julien, who hails from Quebec, grew up rooting for the Blue Jays.

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