Tonight's game seemed destined to end in a Twins win, after Joe Mauer hit his very first homerun of the year in the first inning of the game. Michael Cuddyer hit a solo home run in the 4th inning. Jason Kubel hit a 3-run double in the 9th. Brian Duensing was solid for 6 2/3 innings. Glen Perkins continued to be pretty awesome. Everything about tonight's game really went in the Twins' favor, and the club notched their second win in a row, guaranteeing at least a split in this Texas series.
Full recap, notes, and studs & duds after the jump.
Well. That was fun, wasn't it?
So, let's just start with this (watch it, I promise you won't be disappointed). It started off the game, and gave the Twins a lead they would not relinquish. Mauer's first home run of the year set a tone for the game, and that tone was 'awesome'.
The Twins' offense tonight was, for the first time in a while, really solid, all around. Last night's game was good, but there were some defensive miscues that helped them out a lot. Tonight, however, was good, solid hitting. The Twins way, if you will. Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer would hit solo homeruns in the first and fourth innings, respectively. Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer would strike again in the 5th inning, when Joe singled and scored Alexi Casilla, and Cuddyer singled and scored Mauer (Cuddy did then get caught in a rundown, but the run had already scored). At this point in the game, all of the runs had come from just two players. Jason Kubel, PROFESSIONAL HITTER (thanks, Stu!) didn't want to miss the RBI/hit party, though, and in the top of the 9th, hit a 3-run double to deep center field, making the score 7-1 and forcing Joe Nathan to take a seat and try to get his all-time save record sealed up another day. Trust me when I say, however, that Kubel's double was really awesome. Oh, and two of the three runs that scored on Kubel's double? Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer, of course.
Brian Duensing was very effective for the Twins tonight, going a very solid 6 2/3 innings, only giving up 1 ER and striking out 6. He did walk one batter-Yorvit Torrealba-but managed to keep damage to a minimum when he needed to. The only run the Rangers would score off Duensing came in the bottom of the 4th inning, when Michael Young grounded out, but scored Elvis Andrus from 3B. After that, Duensing remained calm and in charge, and was pulled in the 7th inning after throwing 113 pitches on the night. Matt Capps and Glen Perkins would combine for a scoreless inning and a half, striking out none, but allowing no hits or walks. Oh, and just in case you were wondering: for his .2 innings pitched, Perk threw 5 pitches, all for strikes. Anthony Swarzak came in to pitch the ninth, and two hits later, the Rangers had scored a run. That would be all they'd get, however, and with a couple groundball outs, Swarzak closed it out and the Twins won.
-Baby Jesus himself. 2-for-4, HR, 3 R, IBB, 2 RBI, 0 SO. Pretty damn good line.
-Michael Cuddyer, MVP. 2-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Not too shabby at all.
-Brian Duensing. 6 2/3 innings, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO. Great, great effort from Duens, when the team really needed it.
-Hell, why not everyone else? Great game, guys. Real team effort.
I could make a case for Revere, Young, or Swarzak, but this win felt good. Everybody's a winner tonight.
-Denard Span played all nine innings in a rehab game in Rochester tonight. It's the first time he's done it since starting rehab, and it's expected that he'll have to go a few more full games before getting called back up (assuming he's not traded for more f*#&$ng relief pitchers, that is).
-Glen Perkins' ERA on the year is 1.56. Not really relevant, but just pointing out how good he's been. It's nice to see, after the troubles he seemed to have with the club a while back.
-Duensing's ERA before the game: 4.93. After: 4.35. Yay effective pitching.
Have a good rest of the week, everyone.