It didn't look good in the top of the first. Cole DeVries faced 7 South Siders in the four run inning that was capped by a AJ Pierzynski home run, his 17th of the year. Chicago was able to make DeVries throw 31 pitches in the first inning. He would go on to throw an even 100 on the night.
But, the Twins came out swinging in the first matching Chicago with four runs of their very own. The first four batters reached base with all with singles save for Ben Revere's 11th double of the year. The Twins sent 8 men to the plate in the first inning.
The Twins were at it again in the third inning scoring two more runs. The big story in this inning was Justin Morneau who hit a bullet to right field off Jose Quintanas, who is a lefty. It would be his first of two hits off of a left handed pitcher of the evening. We should also give credit to Alejandro De Aza for playing hot potato in center with the ball that Morneau smashed, as it allowed Josh Willingham to advance to second base and Morneau to move on to third. Ryan Doumit's single brought home Willingham, and Danny Valencia's sac fly brought in Morneau.
In the top of the 5th inning, Paul Konerko was hit by a pitch in with the very first pitch off the inning. I just assumed that Mauer was going to get plunked in the next inning, he did not, as the Twins went down pretty quickly in the bottom of the inning. The box score says "Alex Rios flew out to Denard Span" but, it was so much more than that. It was a Torii Hunter-esque home run robbery.
Casey Fien came in to relieve DeVries in the 6th inning, and threw 10 pitches to Alexi Ramirez, who he got to pop up in fair territory. After getting Gordon Beckham to fly out after 8 pitches, he gave up a single to De Aza and hit Kevin Youkillis, but escaped unscathed after getting Adam Dunn to harmlessly fly out.
In the 8th inning, Alexi Ramirez was hit by a pitch from Jared Burton, and he later stole second. He scored on De Aza's single. It was tied.
In the bottom of the 9th things went as perfectly as they could've. Valencia singled, and was ran for by Alexi Casilla. Brian Dozier laid down the most beautiful bunt you'll ever see, and was waved on to second as Pierzynski overthrew Konerko, which moved Casilla to third. Jamey Carroll hit a fly ball, and Casilla scored. Twins win. Studs and duds after the jump.
Studs: The offense, with special kudos to Justin Morneau for getting two hits off a lefty. Also Denard Span for his great game at the plate, and then asking Terry Ryan to not trade him away in his post game interview. The bullpen.
Duds: Cole DeVries.