The Twins took 2 of 3 from the Phillies in Philadephia, smashing home runs and recovering from ugly starts by both Nick Blackburn and Kevin Slowey to win a wild one on Saturday and kind of cruise to victory on Sunday behind a strong start by Carl Pavano, aka Luigi.
After two young and relatively inexperienced starters were forced out very early over the first two games of a series in a tough opposing ballpark, Pavano faced off against one of the game’s most dominant pitchers and delivered a masterful complete-game victory, relieving a beleaguered bullpen and salvaging a series that at one point looked completely lost.Pavano has completed seven or more innings in 11 of his 14 starts this season and has accumulated more innings than all but four starters in the AL. It’s no coincidence that he has factored into the decision each time he’s pitched this season; he’s routinely lasted deep into games and he has heavily impacted their outcomes. Talk about earning your paycheck. (That last sentence can be read with a not-so-slight tinge of irony by my friends who follow the Yankees.)
The Twins beat the Royals 6-2 Wednesday night in front of the largest crowd in Target Field History. The Twins are averaging attendance of 38875 at home, good for 3rd in the AL, and hosted over 40000 in their 26th consecutive sellout.
So, the Twins traveled to Offensively Inept Seattle and managed to show even greater Offensive Ineptitude that the Mariners and drop the last three games of their four-game series, losing last night 1-4.
This game is essentially how
the Mariners drew up their game plan for the season – get some guys on base,
let the top of the order run like rabbits, and score enough runs to support
A record crowd of 39,659 watched Rangers’ starting pitcher C. J. Wilson silence, or at least seriously muffle, the Twins’ bats for five and two-thirds innings Saturday afternoon at Target Field. He was coasting along, with the Rangers holding a 2-0 lead. And then things changed quickly.
Egads, the Blue Jays can hit some bombs.
The Twins brought their bats to the Rogers Center, sending the few fans in attendance home sad by beating the home team 8-3.
In 16 career games heading into Monday, Morneau was batting .177 with three homers and eight RBI at Rogers Center. That includes three walks and 12 strikeouts.
It appears to be the common case of trying too hard to please the homeland folk.
That ended Monday when he went 3-for-4 and socked his team-leading 10th and 11th home runs during the Twins’ 8-3 win over the Blue Jays. Unfortunately, there was an announced crowd of only 13,892 on hand as this once-bustling baseball town is suffering from too many beatdowns at the hands of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays in the AL East.
Morneau actually reached base four times on Monday, walking in the first inning, then getting all his sprint work in during the Twins’ four-run fourth.
With a run already in, Morneau sent a shot toward first base that Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay waved at and missed for an RBI single. Joe Mauer, already on base with a single, went to third. Then Michael Cuddyer grounded to third but reached first when Overbay bobbled the throw. Morneau, not known for his speed, decided to advance to third on the play, drawing a wild throw from Overbay that allowed him to run home and give the Twins a 5-2 lead.
The power show began in the sixth with a solo shot to right off lefthander Rommie Lewis that gave the Twins a 6-3 lead.
He wasn’t done, as he mashed a two-run shot off Shawn Camp in the eighth that landed in the seats just to the right of the batter’s eye in center field as the Twins moved out 8-3.
Unsurprisingly, Morneau was the WPA leader for Minnesota, contributing a solid .247 to the Twins’ win.