Huge sixth inning supports strong start by Blackburn.
For seven innings on Saturday night, Nick Blackburn owned the Arizona Diamondbacks. He worked quickly, throwing strikes and efficiently running through innings. Blackburn left the mound after the top of the seventh, trailing 1-0 in spite of allowing a mere trio of hits and no walks. He'd also struck out three, while only throwing 89 pitches. It was a brilliant performance by Blackburn, who turned in his second consecutive quality start.
It was in the bottom of the seventh that the Twins finally managed to give Blackburn the support he so sorely deserved. After Joe Mauer scored on Justin Morneau's double, the wheels came off the cart for Arizona starter Micah Owings.
Jason Kubel walked. Delmon Young singled, scoring Morneau. Brian Buscher doubled, scoring them both. Brendan Harris doubled, scoring Buscher. Then, after Carlos Gomez mercifully struck out for the second out of the inning, Alexi Casilla singled to score Harrs. Mauer walked to reach for the second time in the inning, but Morneau popped up to end the scoring binge. By the time the third out recorded, the Diamondbacks were on their third pitcher of the inning.
Amazingly, the Twins have now won five in a row--this following a streak where they looked exactly like the inexperienced and aggressive team that we were worried they could be. Now Minnesota is three games over .500 at 39-36, and are suddenly a mere two and a half games off the pace set by the 41-33 Chicago White Sox.
Time for a second consecutive series sweep this afternoon! Win Twins!!