August 16, 2007

Twins Win 2nd In A Row

The Twins continued to hit the ball well for the second straight game. The Twins followed up an 11 run performance on Tuesday with a respectable (well, for the Twins a great) 6 run performance on Wednesday.

Torii Hunter accounted for 5 of the runs in the game. The most important run happened to be a go-ahead RBI single in the 8th inning which put the Twins up 2-1. On top of the great performance, he also made a great play while picking up a single on the first hope and throwing it to Alexi Casilla at second to throw out the stranded Jamie Burke. He also added some insurance in the 9th inning with a 4-run quadruple to put the nail on the coffin and to seal the Twins a 6-1 victory over the Mariners. The win also gave the Twins a series win for the second time this month, and interestingly enough, both came against teams we're either chasing for the division lead or for the wild-card lead.

The Twins couldn't have done it without another strong start from Scott Baker who gave up just 1 run over 6 2/3 innings while striking out 7 batters. Although he pitched very well, he still couldn't pick up the win. That player happened to be Pat Neshek who pitched 1 1/3 of perfect baseball. He only threw 14 pitches to the 4 batters he faced. It was Neshek's 7th win of the season. Joe Nathan also made an appearance with a 2 strikeout performance in the 9th.

Rondell White also went yard for the Twins, it was his first home run of the season and his 7th RBI of the year as well. Another player who made a first was Tommy Watkins had his first Major League hit with a single in the 5th inning. He followed it up with another single in the 9th inning in which he later came around to score off of Hunter's grand slam.

Jason Bartlett had another great game at the plate going 2-3 with his 17th double of the season. Unfortunately for Bartlett and for the Twins, he came up lame after beating out an infield single in the 6th inning.

More on that later.

Game Ball
Profile: Torii Hunter, #48, Center Fielder
Game: 2-5, 1 HR (Grand Slam), 5 RBI

The Twins will face the Texas Rangers on Friday. I'll have a series preview on Friday.

Ramon Ortiz traded to the Rockies
Ron Gardenhire announced after the game that the Minnesota Twins have traded Ramon Ortiz to the Colorado Rockies. The Twins in return received infielder Matt Macri. Ortiz's season started out strong going 3-1 in April with a 2.57 ERA. But since then, he hasn't had his ERA under 5. He was currently 4-4 with a 5.15 ERA. He was demoted to the bullpen after May 26th and hasn't made a start since.

Macri started the season in AA and hit .298/.349/.502 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, and 33 RBI's. He made his first start at AAA on Sunday and since has hit .667 (6-9) with 2 2B, 1 HR, and 4 RBI's.

There's no answer (yet) that says where he'll be assigned, but some speculation is that he may be heading straight to Minnesota now that Bartlett looks bound for the DL.

Jason Bartlett injured
As I mentioned, Jason Bartlett was injured during yesterday's game. He beat out an infield single and as he hit first base, he grimised in pain. The injury looks to be a strained left hamstring. Ron Gardenhire said after the game that the injury will "probably" make Bartlett a DL candidate.

The Twins now have 2 spots on the roster in which they need to fill before Friday's game. It sounds like Jason Kubel's future won't be known until after he takes live batting practice on Friday. That of course is if all goes fine between now and then.

To fill the spots on the roster, the Twins will likely be calling up 2 position players, thus meaning we plan to move on with just 11 pitchers. Lew Ford has played acceptionally well since his demotion, so he'll likely be one of the two players. The other may come down between Matt Macri and Matt Tolbert. Tolbert has improved with a .345 average this month after he hit .213 in July. His season average is back up to .305. When Brian Buscher was placed on the DL, Matt Tolbert was reportedly "not mentally ready" for the next level, thus the Twins decided to bring up Tommy Watkins.

Rochester Red Wings beat the Buffalo Bison, 10-4.
Jason Miller got the start and pitched pretty well, givin up just 1 run in his 4 frames. Julio DePaula came on in the 5th and that meant nobody else gets to pitch. DePaula finished the game going the last 5 innings and allowing 3 runs on a 3-run home run in the 9th. He struck out 5 while throwing 61 pitches. Denard Span went 3-5 with his 16th double and 4 RBI's. Darnell McDonald went 3-5 with 3 RBI's. Glenn Williams had 2 hits and an RBI and Lew Ford also drove in a run.

New Britain Rock Cats lost to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 3-2.
Yohan Pino pitched a solid game for the Cats, giving up just 3 runs on 9 hits in 8 innings. He also struck out 6. It was Pino's 3rd loss in a Rock Cats uniform. Jose Mijares pitched the final inning and set them down 1-2-3 with 2 K's. David Winfree provided 3 hits in 4 at bats. Brock Peterson drove in the teams first run with his 13th home run in the 2nd inning. Kyle Geiger later drove in Winfree for his 27th RBI of the season.

Ft. Myers Miracle beat the Tampa Yankees, 5-2.
Jeff Manship another quality start. He gave up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 5 in his 6 innings of work. Kyle Aselton and J.P. Martinez combined for 3 K's in 2 innings before Eduardo Morlan struck out the side in the 9th for his 17th save of the season. Ed Ovalle, Dustin Martin, Juan Portes and Erik Lis all had 2 hits for the Miracle. Erik Lis drove in 2 runs off of his 15th home run of the season and his 6th in the last 9 games. He also has 17 RBI's in that span as well. Ovalle and Dwayne White also drove in runs for the Miracle.

Beloit Snappers
No Game Scheduled.

GCL Twins lost to the GCL Reds, 6-1.
Dan Berlind struggled in this start, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) in 4 innings. It was his 2nd loss of the season. Andres Diaz went 2-3 in his first game this season. Angel Morales also went 2-3 including his 5th double. Jeanfred Brito hit his 3rd triple of the season. Yangervis Solarte reached base 3 times and drove in the only run for the Twins.

Elizabethton Twins beat the Kingsport Mets, 6-1.
David Bromberg picked up his 8th consecutive win by allowing just 1 run in the 5 1/3 innings he pitched. He also struck out 5 and walked 3. Spencer Steedley struck out 4 over the next 2 2/3 innings and Caleb Moore struck out 2 of 3 batters in his only inning of relief. Ozzie Lewis went 2-4 with 2 runs scored. Estarlin De Los Santos had 2 RBI's. Rene Leveret, Danny Lehmann, and Mark Dolenc also all drove in runs.