Garza's final line was sexier, but the Twins offense managed to touch him for enough runs for the win.
Brendan Harris connected in the top of the second for his third home run of the season, a solo shot. It was just a four-batter inning, but the one man Matt Garza didn't get only needed one pitch to put the Twins in front. After that Garza managed to settle in, got into his groove, throwing just 27 pitches over the third, fourth and fifth innings. In that time, the Rays got to Nick Blackburn for some long distance of their own.
Carlos Pena pulled one into the right field seats in the bottom of the fourth, while Matt Joyce added one of his own the following inning. Luckily for Blackburn and the Twins, the bases were empty. Prior to those shots, Nick shut down Tampa through the first three innings. His only strikeout of the night came in the first, but he still managed to get a few ground balls in spite of the home runs; seven hits and a walk over six innings should be enough to be effective.
Speaking of enough to be effective, Garza's night looked considerably better than Blackburns, but his offense wasn't able to pick him up. He pitched well again, striking out six.
A Justin Morneau single scored Denard Span, before Carlos Gomez knocked in Brian Buscher for a 3-2 lead. Sean Henn, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares and Joe Nathan combined for three scoreless innings.
In the second, Michael Cuddyer left the game to get X-rays on his right index finger. Luckily, he's listed as day-to-day. Just like Joe Crede. And Joe Mauer.
Stars of the Game
#3: Brendan Harris (1-for-4, HR, RBI, .047 WPA) Harris' solo shot started the scoring for the Twins, but I wasn't sure whether he was good enough to make this list; I debated between putting Mike Redmond or Nathan here as well.
#2: Joe Mijares (IP, H, K, .243 WPA) Mijares got some big-leverage outs in the top of the eighth.
#1: Nick Blackburn (6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, K, BB, .084 WPA) FanGraphs wouldn't agree, but any time the starting pitcher puts on a good show and keeps the other team in check, he's going to be on this list. Nick pitched a good game, if unimpressive.