Mauer congratulates Willingham on his 2 run homerun, and asks how he hits that ball so darn hard out of the park.
To say the Twins won this game handily would be, well, quite incorrect. Minnesota had the lead (their first of the year!) going into the fifth inning, but promptly gave it up as Peter Bourjos hit an inside-the-park home run to give the Angels a 4-3 lead. Much of Twins Territory groaned in resignation-they've seen this story before, many times-but tonight's ending was much different than anticipated.
Full recap after the jump. Come along, won't you?
Carl Pavano started the game well, pitching a perfect three innings before things began to fall apart a bit. In the fourth, he gave up a couple hits and the Angels were up 1-0. In the bottom of the inning, however, the bats came to life (finally...) with a couple base hits and a Josh Willingham 2 run home run. Let me tell you, Twins fans, having Willingham's bat in the lineup this season should be a very good thing, as his home run (approx. distance-408 ft., in the third deck) was pretty majestic. Target Field doesn't mess with his hitting, and that's something this team really needs.
Anyway, going into the 5th inning, the Twins leading 3-1 (again, their first lead so far this year), Carl Pavano gave up a couple of hits to Angels batters, and that's when Peter Bourjos stepped up to the plate. Fast, speedy Peter Bourjos. Bourjos knocked one out to deep left field, where Willingham attempted to chase it down, but ran into the wall instead. While the ball was rolling around in the field, Bourjos was flying around the bases (according to the internet, it took him ~14 seconds to make it all the way around, and he wasn't even running at the beginning of his trot), managing to hit an inside-the-park home run at Target Field. Despite it being against the home team, it was pretty exciting action.
While many may have thought the game would be over at this point, the Twins decided to throw some more offense out there and score a few more runs. Once Pavano came out in the 7th inning ( 101 pitches, 73 for strikes), the Twins had Jeff Gray pitch. Gray threw one pitch and got the win for the night. Take that as you will. In the bottom of the 7th, the Twins had a couple of solid base hits, when Chris Parmelee came to the plate. Parmelee managed to hit one to the right field corner (which is also when Torii Hunter ran comically into the wall) for a 2 run triple, tying the game. After Alexi Casilla popped out on the first pitch he saw, and Denard Span was called out on a pretty terrible strike 3 call, Jamey Carroll was up to bat. After a Carroll base hit that scored Parmelee, the Twins were winning once more, and wouldn't give up the lead after. Perkins came in to pitch a perfect 8th (a particularly nasty strikeout of Albert Pujols being the highlight), and Capps managed to pitch a scoreless ninth to secure the Twins their first win of the season.
-Willingham, despite his fielding fiasco. We like home runs.
-Perkins, who was #pmki.
-Carroll, with his game-winning RBI and 2 hits on the night.
-Parmelee, with his awesome triple.
-Capps, and yeah, I said it. Despite allowing a baserunner, he didn't allow any runs to score. Moral victory!
Duds...even though we won
-Casilla, who had a pretty rough game.
-The 'win' stat, who allowed Gray to get the win tonight. Lame.
Well, there you have it, folks. Winning feels good, so let's hope there's a lot more of it this season. Oh, and not to say anything, but...the Twins did manage to get their first win on a Wednesday. Not saying, just saying. See you next week!