Saturday afternoon's game kicked off with a bang, with Brian Dozier taking Carlos Carrasco deep on the second pitch of the contest. The Twins didn't look back, with Jason Kubel and Josmil Pinto picking up run-scoring singles to give Minnesota a 3-0 lead before Kyle Gibson even took the mound. Trevor Plouffe cracked his third double of the season to bring in Chris Colabello in the third, and then he scored when Yan Gomes couldn't handle an offering from Carrasco.
Gibson went just five innings but he also surrendered just one run, allowing Lonnie Chisenhall to score when a changeup got away from Pinto. The scorer charged Gibson with a wild pitch, but it was the last time that he was in real trouble until he walked Jason Kipnis to lead off the sixth inning and was pulled. Gibson had thrown 91 pitches through five, so it's somewhat a surprise that Gardy went back to an inefficient starter, but on the other hand the bullpen had been ineffective and somewhat taxed through four games. Gardy tried to get the most out of his starter, but on Saturday five was all he would get.
Brian Duensing came in and did his job admirably, cruising through two hitless and scoreless innings. Jared Burton threw a scoreless eighth, and Glen Perkins once again struggled by allowing a pair of hits and a walk en route to another run-surrendering appearance. Perk now has three appearances in five games this season, tallying four earned runs in three innings.
One of the biggest indicators of success or failure for the Twins in recent seasons has been hitting with runners in scoring position, and Saturday saw Minnesota go 3-for-7 in those situations. My advice: keep doing that.
Finally, a huge congratulations to Gardy, who wins his 1,000th career game as the manager of the Minnesota Twins! Bucky Harris, who was the manager of the Washington Senators from 1924 to 1954, won 1,336 games in 18 seasons (74 wins per year). Franchise legend Tom Kelly won 1,140 games in 16 seasons (71 wins per year). Gardy has three seasons to tie Kelly for the second-most wins by a manager in franchise history, which I have no doubt he'll do provided he's still the team's manager, probably by the end of 2015 (his 15th season).