KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 2: Esmerling Vasquez #59 of the Minnesota Twins waits to talk with pitching coach Rick Anderson #40 during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Jamey Carroll, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau combined for a run in the first, and Chris Parmelee homered for the second consecutive game in the second to give the Twins an early 2-0 lead. Esmerling Vasguez's first Twins start began to come undone in the second inning though, struggling with control and allowing a few badly timed hits en route to a three-run bottom half of the frame.
The Twins managed to knot the game at four in the top of the seventh when Alexi Casilla came through with a full count, slapping a two-run single with the bases loaded and two away. Vasquez started the sixth and surrendered a two-out double, and although Gardy did the right thing by lifting him Tyler Robertson couldn't put Tony Abreu away. Abreu singled to plate the go-ahead run.
Kansas City would add another run off Alex Burnett in the eighth, thus our final score. No sweep for the Twins today, but at this point any series in which you can walk away from as a winner is a good one. I'll take two.
Overall, Vasquez didn't shy away from the task of going after Major League hitters. Two-thirds of his pitches went for strikes, throwing a lot of fastballs, sinkers and changeups. He broke out the curve a few times the second time through the lineup, and generally it wasn't too shabby. A few went for called strikes, which is great to be able to show. Only one hung in the zone a bit, but when he missed they were generally in the dirt.
It wasn't a great Twins debut for Vasquez, even though there were some good things that happened today. The fastball looked good at times, and he was able to throw the changeup effectively. If he can keep command and avoid the big inning next time, we might be able to see why the Twins selected him off waivers in the first place.