Joe Mauer did what he's done all year. Nick Blackburn did what he's not done all year. Not coincidentally, even though it took long enough, the Twins emerged victorious Friday night with at 2-1 win in 11 innings.
The story of the night, even though he didn't figure into the decision, was Blackburn. He handcuffed the Royals almost the entire night., with a sinker that, like, sunk and stuff. Although he ended with a no-decision, his line for the night counts as a "win" for any right-thinking Twins fan: 6.2 innings , 1 R, 7 H. On one hand, it's the Royals. On the other, Blackburn has gotten the snot kicked out of him all season, regardless of team. Yay Twins!
Minnesota opened the scoring with, of all things, a Darin Mastroianni solo HR in the 2nd off of Royals starter Luke Hochevar. Unfortunately, that was all the damage they would do off of Hochevar, who held the Twins offense in check through 7 innings.
The Twins wasted a rally in the 8th, when Josh Willingham grounded out with two runners on to end the inning. They peed another one away in the 10th, when Mastroianni led off with a triple and didn't score and everyone got sad because, come on, lead-off triple against the goddamn motherscratching Royals. I mean, Jesus.
The bullpen, in the persons of Tyler Robertson, Jared Burton's Beard, and Casey Fein, held the line yet again, and Joe Mauer led off the 11th with a double, with Willingham driving him home with a single. Enter Glen Perkins, who worked around a leadoff double from Alcides Escobar to garner the save and make everyone just a little more happy.
Studs: Mauer, Blackburn, Willingham, the bullpen AGAIN.
Notes: Trevor Plouffe left the game with a bruised thumb, which is why Dozier was in with the incorrect uniform. Given the Twins luck, Plouffe probably will have had it amputated by the time you read this.
Enjoy your weekend, everybody.