Twins 8, Tigers 6: Willingham, Plouffe, and Mauer Power Twins Win

Trevor Plouffe celebrates his team-leading 19th homerun with teammates Justin Morneau and Francisco Liriano looking on.

What the heck have the Twins been drinking lately?

Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe, and Joe Mauer all hit homeruns tonight to power the Twins winning-streak to five games--their longest winning streak of the year.

The game started after a 90-or-so minute rain delay with Ben Revere scoring the Twins first run in the top of the 1st inning off a sac-fly from Josh Willingham. Things appeared to darken for the Twins when starter Nick Blackburn gave up three runs in the bottom of the second inning--but luckily, the Twins power offense came through. Joe Mauer reached first base and Ben Revere scored on an error by Detroit shortstop Ramon Santiago before Josh Willingham hit his 18th homerun of the year, tying Tervor Plouffe for most homeruns on the team. That is, until two batters later, when everyone and their mom joked Plouffe would hit another homerun to once again take the team lead, which he then did. It marked the sixth time this year Willingham and Plouffe homered in the same game.

Entering the bottom of the 4th inning with a 6-3 lead, however, Twins starter Nick Blackburn burned out, giving up homeruns to Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson to tie the game. The game remained tied until the top of the 7th inning, when Joe Mauer scored on a sac-fly from Ryan Doumit. The Twins bullpen once again came in and saved the day, pitching five scoreless innings after Blackburn was pulled in the 4th.

And Joe Mauer hit an insurance homerun in the 9th inning.

Really.

Studs and duds after the jump.

Studs:
  • Joe Mauer: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 RBI. I can't even facetiously joke about Mauer not being good anymore. Come on people--Baby Jesus is back.
  • Josh Willingham: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, 1 run, 1 BB. All-around stud, as he has been the whole year.
  • Trevor Plouffe: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 run, won't let Josh Willingham lead the team in homeruns. Made a GREAT defensive catch off a Miguel Cabrera line-drive in the 7th inning and alertly threw to first to pick off Quintin Berry for a double play.
  • Twins Bullpen (Gray, Waldrop, Robertson, Perkins): Pitched 5 scoreless, walk-less innings. Perkins pitched in his 4th straight game, the longest streak in his career.
Duds:
  • Nick Blackburn: 4 innings pitched, 8 Hs, 2 HRs, 6 ERs, 1 BB. Um, yeah.
  • Brian Dozier: 0-for-5, 3 SOs (But he has good on defense! Let's just be happy?! We won!)

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