It was only a matter of time before the Twins got to Jonathan Sanchez. They started off the first two innings with a combined 5 baserunners, including 3 walks, but in each inning they failed to score. However, they did break through in the 3rd inning, when after Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham reached, Trevor Plouffe doubled to the fence down the left field line to make it 1-0. Ryan Doumit added a sacrifice fly, but the Twins once again squandered an opportunity as Brian Dozier flew out into a double play, with center fielder Jason Bourgeois throwing out Plouffe attemping to score from 3rd with runners on 1st and 3rd.
The Twins kept chipping away, and eventually they broke through again in the 5th. With one out, the Twins got 3 consecutive singles to bring home their 3rd run of the game, and then their lead swelled to 5-0 when Alexi Casilla doubled home two more. The Twins would then add one more run on an RBI single by Denard Span.
Once again, Scott Diamond was masterful on the pitching side. He did not allow a run until the top of the 6th inning, as he went 8 innings, allowing only 2 runs. The Royals made a few odd defensive changes prior to the bottom of the 7th inning when the score was only 6-1, bringing in Jarrod Dyson, Mitch Maier, and Irving Falu for Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, and Alcides Escobar, respectively. The moves would have looked especially puzzling as the Royals threatened Diamond in the 8th inning, but they were only able to muster across one run as Diamond struck out Billy Butler with runners on 2nd and 3rd to end the inning.
Scott Diamond (8 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K), Trevor Plouffe (2 for 4, BB, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Alexi Casilla (3 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB). I could probably add more, but I'm feeling picky today.
None. Although the Twins did leave 12 men on base, that was also a testament to their ability to get on base (22 men reached base via hit or walk in the game).
- Every Twin in the lineup had at least one hit.
- Jonathan Sanchez allowed 16 baserunners (10 hits, 6 BB) in 4 1/3 innings. The Twins really should have scored more than 7 runs.
- The Twins had 5 stolen bases in the game, with 4 coming on a pair of double steals (Casilla and Span in the 2nd, Darin Mastroianni and Brian Dozier in the 5th). Casilla actually stole 3rd base twice in the game, and the 5 steals were a season high, which was achieved after the 5th inning double steal.
- This Brian Dozier pool-cue infield single was worth about half the price of admission today. I bet about 500 Twins fans learned today that it's indeed possible for a ball to start in foul territory and eventually be ruled fair.
Cole De Vries made a spot start for the Twins, being the first ever 26th man in Twins history, and he certainly took advantage of the opportunity. He turned in the best start of his short major league career, limiting the Royals to just 1 run in 6 innings, and he received some long ball help from the offense as the Twins won 5-1.
The lone run off De Vries was from a solo shot by Billy Butler, and although De Vries has shown some struggles with the homers, he's been able to limit the damage created in other forms. The same was true today, as the only trouble he ever faced was in the 2nd inning, the same inning that Butler homered. After Butler went yard, Jeff Francoeur singled and Salvador Perez doubled with one out, but De Vries was able to strike out Jarrod Dyson and Alcides Escobar to end the threat. After that, Alex Burnett, Tyler Robertson, and Jared Burton came in to shut the door on the Royals.
As for the offense, they used three homers of their own to power De Vries to his 2nd major league win. Josh Willingham quickly put the Twins up 2-0 in the first inning when he homered to left field with Joe Mauer on base. In the 2nd inning, it was Chris Parmelee that cleared the right field bleachers with a solo shot, and finally Mauer added the 3rd, just clearing the fence in left field. Though Mauer's ball did disappear in the flower bed a la Jim Thome's homer a week or two ago, it only took a minute or two and no men in harnesses to locate.
Cole De Vries (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K), Joe Mauer (2 for 4, HR, 2 R)
Alexi Casilla (0 for 4, 1 K, 5 LOB)