Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Can you hear footsteps, Chicago?
For just a moment there, in the first inning, this looked like it was about to turn into another route. Denard Span singled, Joe Mauer singled, and Delmon Young absolutely crushed a Brian Bannister cutter into the stratosphere over left field. Jason Repko added another home run, a solo shot in the second, and it looked like the boys were well on their way to running it up once again.
But today wasn't as easy as it looked like it could have been. Brian Duensing pitched well but ran into some trouble in the fifth, facing seven batters (throwing just 21 pitches, for what it's worth) en route to a two-run inning that closed the gap to 5-2. Duensing would bounce back with a solid sixth and his night would end there, allowing just the two runs on 83 pitches.
In the eighth the Royals would mount one more attack, and with the help of a throwing error by J.J. Hardy managed to load the bases off Matt Guerrier. Jose Mijares would allow a loud two-run single to Rick Ankiel to make it scary for a moment, but in the end the lead held at 5-4. A Joe Mauer walk, another Young hit and a sacrifice fly from Jason Kubel gave the Twins an insurance run, and Jon Rauch locked it down for his 21st save.
A few interesting game notes after the jump. But this was a huge sweep, taking six of these seven games on the road.
- Twitter reports have Nick Punto heading to the disabled list. We'll find out, but in the best case scenario it's just a cramp and he'll be fine. He was 2-for-4 in the game before being removed following his succussful bunt.
- In the top of the ninth it was Anthony Slama who was in the bullpen warming up...at first. Eventually he sat down and Jon Rauch got up. But it was an interesting three minutes.
- Apparently Delmon Young is refusing to play in games this month in which he collects fewer than three hits. Young picked up three hits, including his career-high 14th home run in the first.
- He could have had another in the ninth, but Mauer flinched on the basepaths and had to stop at third. Kubel picked up the RBI.
- Speaking of Mauer, he reached base three times this afternoon with a walk, single and double number 33.
- Denard Span and Jason Repko also collected three hits.
Delmon Young: Dude is just awesome right now. AWESOME.
Brian Duensing: Six innings on just 83 pitches? Somebody tell Scott Baker!
Joe Mauer: Two big hits and a walk, leading to two big runs. Good bounce-back series for Joe.
Matt Guerrier: It got hairy there for a minute.
Alexi Casilla: 0-for-5.
Jose Mijares: That two-run single was a loud two-run single. I also don't like fly balls in that situation.