Call it what you will - a run of misfortune, a string of bad luck, a dip in form, whatever. Entering Friday, the Twins were in a rut, and desperately needed to find a way out.
After an 11-0 win at the Metrodome over slumping Seattle, it's safe to say that the escape has been made.
Minnesota's three-game losing streak? Done. Their run of five games without a home run? Finished. Their 2009-long run without a shutout? Over. Even Scott Baker's consecutive-implosions streak fell by the wayside.
For the first time in 2009, Baker started well, ended well, and pitched well in the middle. That, and eleven runs - including home runs from Brendan Harris, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Brian Buscher - were more than enough to get the hurler his first win of the year. The righthander threw seven shutout innings without allowing a runner past second base, striking out five, walking none, and scattering five dinky singles.
At the plate, meanwhile, the Twins jumped on Seattle's Chris Jakubauskas and didn't let up. Denard Span singled to start the game, Matt Tolbert immediately followed with a ground-rule double, and - ending another streak - the Twins actually got both runners home with productive outs.
The Twins had fallen behind early in seemingly every game this season, but with that streak out of the way, the Twins proceeded to end their power drought as well - with a vengeance. Harris began the parade with a three-run homer over the Baggie in the second. Mauer and Morneau followed with back-to-back blasts in the fifth. And Buscher put a cap on things with his first of the year, a moon shot to right that plated three more.
When the dust cleared, the Twins led 10-0 - and the losing streak was all but done.
After the jump, the Twins' three stars.
3. Brian Buscher
Buscher got a rare chance to start at third base - and made the most of his at-bats, drilling a three-run homer, walking, and scoring twice.
2. Scott Baker
Now that's how we'd expect a "staff ace" to pitch. 7IP, 0ER, 5H, 0BB, 5K.
1. Brendan Harris
Harris's three-run blast in the second inning broke a homer-less drought that stretched back to last Saturday. It opened up a big lead, helping Baker, and it got the Twins rolling in the right direction on a big night. Harris was 2-4 on the night, with the 3 RBI.