Brad Peacock was a lot better than expected. He struck out ten Twins over seven innings of work, surrendering just four hits. Two of which ultimately told the afternoon's tale. Justin Morneau's eyes lit up in the bottom of the first when he recognized a meat ball right down the middle of the plate, dropping it over the fence for a two-run blast. Oswaldo Arcia got hold of another fastball in the seventh, and it landed about 20 feet to the left of where Justin's landed.
A win is a win, but Peacock was the better pitcher this afternoon. He picked up 13 swinging strikes, helping to his double-digit strikeout total. Most of them came on his slider, but the changeup and fastball were in the mix, too. That slider was absolutely sick at times.
Mike Pelfrey didn't go as deep into the game as he would have liked, but he had trouble with the payoff pitches. He threw 104 pitches in five frames and his longest inning was a 26-pitch, two-run fifth, but 13 of the 24 batters he faced has plate appearances that went five pitches or more. Still - Pelfrey's ERA has dropped nearly a run and a half over his last ten starts, in which time he's compiled a 3.92 ERA.
Morneau has now homered three times in his last eight games, going 10-for-33 in that span. He's been in an extended slump, so it's been good to see him get locked in a bit over the last week or so. His home run partner in crime today, Arcia, was 5-for-12 in the series. He's still aggressive, but he's also still a rookie. Sometimes that's easy to forget when a player is in his third stint with the team in a single season.
The bullpen was magnificent once again, blanking the Astros over four innings. Caleb Thielbar struggled a bit when he relieved Josh Roenicke in the seventh, but worked around a bases loaded situation to put up another zero and, at the time, keep the game tied at two.
With today's victory, Minnesota improves to 48-60. The Twins move onto Kansas City for a three-game set with the Royals before a day off on Thursday, and then a four-game series in Chicago against the White Sox including a Friday double-header.
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