And this one was definitely a laugher. The Twins just kept their foot on the gas pedal all day, highlighted by a 7-run 4th inning. 10 of their 18 hits went for extra bases, including five home runs. The Rays would have raised a white flag sometime after the 6th inning, but alas, all their white flags had been replaced with Super Sam Fuld capes.
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson did not look good at all today, as he served up 10 runs on 11 hits, with three of those being home runs, all coming in only 3 innings. Two homers came from Justin Morneau, who had been struggling all spring. J.R. Towles, Luke Hughes, and Chris Parmelee also knocked out a bomb in the game. Morneau's first homer gave the Twins a 2-0 lead, and they would lap the Rays about 4 times on their way to the victory.
Jeff Gray was pressed into action as the starting pitcher when original starter Jason Marquis had a family matter to attend to and Gray was decent in two innings. He allowed two runs in his second inning, but you have say that he did a good job limiting the damage considering the Rays started that inning with a HBP, walk, and single.
The Battle For Squatter's Rights, a.k.a. The Third Catcher Race (players ordered by their chances of winning, in my opinion)
J.R. Towles - 2 for 3, BB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Drew Butera - 1 for 1, 1B
Today's Dark Horse, Rene Rivera - 0 for 2, BB, K
I think that Towles' big day puts him back into the lead, as it showed the Twins that he actually has a shot of providing some offense during the season. However, Towles had been riding a fairly big cold streak coming into this game. What's interesting though is that Rivera is leading these three in batting average (.308, compared to Towles' and Butera's .267).
Where to start? *deep breath* Jamey Carroll (3 for 4, RBI), Joe Mauer (2 for 4), Justin Morneau (2 for 2, BB, 2 HR, 5 RBI), J.R. Towles (see above), Luke Hughes (5 for 5, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI), Matt Maloney (2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 K)
It's rough to say there was a dud in a 19-4 victory, but still.... Joe Benson (0 for 3, 2 K).
(Danny Valencia was also 0 for 3, but he avoids the Duds list as he did draw 2 walks).