Twins 10, Angels 1
Early Sunday morning Ervin Santana got up, had a glass of juice, and thought ahead to his matchup against the Minnesota Twins. He had a genius idea. Much like ancient warriors believed that drinking the blood of their enemies would make them stronger, perhaps eating a box of Twinkies would help him defeat the Twins. And so, smiling at his own genius, Santana began to eat a box of Twinkies.
Santana is now vomiting up Twinkies. They kicked his ass.
Justin Morneau went deep twice this afternoon, although bringing the rain and dropping a three is preferable. But you can't blame a guy for a deuce. Even Denard Span got in on the longball act, pushing the Twins to double-digits with a two-run blast in the eighth. Offensively it was a good game for the Twins, as each member of the starting lineup reached base at least once, whether by hit or by walk. Santana couldn't get through the fourth, getting knocked for six runs off six hits and a pair of walks in 3.2 innings.
Anthony Swarzak, on the other hand, was exactly what the doctor ordered. When he found himself in trouble, which he did on a couple of occasions, he found a way to make a pitch and convert the out. There's no doubt he could have easily made it through the seventh inning if it hadn't been for his defense, which insisted the Angels be given a minimum of five outs as a courtesy since they had been such gracious hosts. A throwing error by Nick Punto led off the inning, although I'm sure that had Morneau been playing first base instead of Cuddyer the play would have been made. Howie Kendrick then tried his best to hit into a double play, but Erik Aybar did his part and bore down hard on Alexi Casilla. Casilla took Punto's under-handed dish and tried to turn two but the throw was wild as he tried to get rid of it, and the ball sailed past Cuddyer. A fly-out would sandwich a pair of walks, and that was the day for Swarzak. Matt Guerrier finished the inning without allowing a run, and on the day Anthony went 6.2 innings with just one blemish on his line: Kendry Morales' solo jack in the fourth.
Guerrier and Jesse Crain combined for 2.1 scoreless inning of relief for the Twins, who were able to at least manage one win over the weekend. Other highlights of the game:
- Carlos Gomez made a nice diving/sliding catch in the bottom of the ninth. The game was already decided, so it's great to see the intensity and desire in spite of the circumstances on a hot afternoon.
- Gomez also scored three times this afternoon.
- Nick Punto delivered a big two-run single in the fourth to put the Twins up 4-0. Nick was 2-for-4 today with a double and three RBI.
- In addition to his home run, Span also had a two-run single.
- He also had an error. Boo.
- Brian Buscher picked up another two hits today, making him 6-for-17 with a walk in his last four games.
- Guerrier hasn't allowed an earned run in exactly one month. That's 13 appearances and 14 innings.
- By comparison, and we're focusing on the positive here, that's two scoreless appearances (and 2.1 innings) for Crain. His fastball was a consistent 95 mph this afternoon, which was great to see.
- This makes five quality starts for Swarzak in eight tries.
Stars of the Game
#3: Nick Punto (2-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, .138 WPA)
#2: Justin Morneau (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, .195 WPA)
#1: Anthony Swarzak (6.2 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 1 R, .197 WPA)