Sometimes everything goes your way. Sometimes you're the bat, sometimes you're the ball, all that rubbish. But tonight there wasn't much that didn't go the Twins way.
Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau went back-to-back in the ten-run second, while Ryan Doumit homered in the same inning...just the next time through the batting order. He doubled in his first plate appearance of the second. Morneau, Doumit, and Joe Mauer all collected multiple RBI before the Indians recorded the third out.
Scott Diamond did let the Indians on the board in the first as Jason Kipnis scored while the Minnesota defense turned a double play behind him. Kipnis scored in the sixth as well, when Carlos Santana went deep. But Diamond was solid throughout, striking out three and walking just one en route to seven good innings. Jeff Gray and Luis Perdomo threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings to wrap it up.
All in all, the Twins collected seven extra base hits: two doubles from Mauer, two home runs from Morneau, a homer and a double from Doumit, and another homer from Willingham. Willingham (two), Morneau (four), Mauer (three), and Doumit (three) all drove in multiple runs, with Ben Revere providing the other RBI today; all of Doumit's, two of Mauer's, three of Morneau's, and Revere's all came with two outs.
In the pregame today I said that the Twins could tie the Indians for third place in the AL Central with a sweep. That'll be tough in Cleveland, but tonight was a great start towards that goal.
Notes, studs and duds after the jump.
- Justin has collected 16 hits in his last nine games. In July he batted .315/.365/.483, and this month is batting .458/.480/.833. Is Justin back? How fun would THAT be?
- Joe Mauer is batting .317/.413/.437 this year. Seriously people, one of the best hitters in the history of the Minnesota Twins organization and he's not 30 until next year. Say whatever you want about his salary, but he's an incredible talent. Someday we'll all be telling our kids about Joe Mauer, and how great he was. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that we can talk about how great he IS.
- Does anyone still doubt Ben Revere's game? At least right now? He's hit no worse than .311 and has posted an on-base percentage not lower than .347 going back to May. This month he's 13-for-22 (.591) with three stolen bases and some astounding range in the outfield.
- Ryan Doumit is hitting .290/.340.479 this season. Um...awesome?
- The only downside of tonight's game was the performance of Tsuyoshi Nishioka. While he did hit the ball hard, particularly in the ninth, he still went 0-for-5. More importantly, he made a pair of fielding errors. We can chalk these up to some nerves and the pressure he no doubt feels being back, but it's not going to calm his detractors. Nishioka will get more opportunities, but he'll have to start making the best of them.