April 21, 2008

Twins win like they did on Saturday

The Twins beat the Indians on Saturday with great pitching and defense, and that carried over to Sunday. Scott Baker threw 7 innings of one-run ball before being removed with a 1-1 tie after throwing 100 pitches. Baker had great command of all of his pitches, which was evident with his one walk and eight strikeouts.

The Bullpen was strong again, allowing no runs, 1 hit, and 2 walks in 3 innings of work. Dennys Reyes, Pat Neshek and Matt Guerrier gave the Twins one inning of work each. Guerrier was the winning pitcher, it was his first of the season and just his 3rd of his career. This was Guerrier's 172nd game of his career.

The offense couldn't generate a lot of runs, but the 2-4 hitters were strong again. Brendan Harris got the Twins on the board in the third inning with his first home run of the season. Harris finished the day 3-5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Jason Kubel hit in the third spot in place of Joe Mauer and went 2-4 with a walk. He absolutely smashed the ball all day.

Justin Morneau played hero (offensively) for the second game in a row. On Saturday, his first inning home run was all the scoring the team needed (although Carlos Gomez added another in the third) and yesterday, Morneau's RBI single in the 10th inning won the game for the Twins.

Nick Punto had a good game at the plate as well, going 2-4. He is now hitting .300 on the season. Brian Buscher got the start at third base and went 1-4 with a hard-hit double to left-center field. He almost reached base later with an infield hit with great spin, however Indian's third baseman Casey Blake made a great play to get him out at first. Mike Redmond also got his first hit of the season while starting at catcher in place of Joe Mauer.

Carlos Gomez made a sensational diving catch in the 9th inning to help keep the game tied. The play earned Gomez Sunday's (Early Evening Edition) of the top Web Gem of the day. The Twins also turned a double play, their 6th of the series.

The Twins have the day off today, but they begin a three-game series in Oakland on Tuesday. Livan Hernandez will take the mound in the first game against Joe Blanton of the A's.

Game Ball
Scott Baker - Starting Pitcher
Line: 7 innings pitched, 5 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, win

Down on the Farm
Hitter of the Day
Danny Valencia - Miracle - Third Base
Note: Valencia drove in enough runs to beat the Flying Tigers (almost) by himself. Valencia drove in 3 runs, 2 off of his 3rd home run of the season in the 7th inning. Valencia finished the game going 2-4 with 2 runs scored, a home run, three RBI's and a walk. I will mention that both Brian Dinkelman and Darnell McDonald were other guys I strongly considered (both reached base 5 times apiece).

Pitcher of the Day
Michael McCardell - Snappers - Starting Pitcher
Note: The Snappers had a solid performance by McCardell on a beautiful day in Beloit yesterday. McCardell allowed 1 run on 5 hits while walking 3 batters in 5 innings of work. He also struck out 5 batters, but despite giving up the one run, he picked up a no decision.

Minor League Box Scores