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Twins Hang On to Beat Royals

Twins 8, Royals 7

No Justin Morneau, no Joe Nathan, no problem?  Not exactly.  While Brian Duensing pitched about as well as could be expected, his bullpen wasn't able to close the door on an early lead.  Bob Keppel and Jesse Crain each were tagged for a pair of runs, although Crain's second wasn't necessarily his fault.

Jose Mijares, on in relief of Crain, had Crain's man on third when he induced a shallow pop-fly to center field.  Whether it was the wind, the lights or whether Carlos Gomez just didn't track it, he over-ran the ball and it bounced out of his glove as he stretched back over his head to try and make the catch.

Opposing Gomez's blunder was Alexi Casilla's superior play in the bottom of the third.  Billy Butler slapped a grounder, a quick bouncing ball that looked like a sure shot to end up in right field and score at least one if not two runs.  At a full sprint Casilla charged to his left and took a sprinting dive into the gap.  He came up with the ball and threw onto first for the final out if the inning.

That was the way it was all night between the Royals offense and the Twins pitching.  Kansas City out-hit the Twins 14-11 on the night, while also picking up three walks.  Luckily the pitching was good enough when it counted, holding the Royals to a 3-for-19 mark with runners in scoring position.  Matt Guerrier picked up a five-out save to lock down the win, although the ninth was just as shaky as the rest of the game.

Notes, studs and duds after the jump.

  • Michael Cuddyer blasted his 20th bomb of the season, while also tallying his 29th double.   Cuddles is now batting .272/.340/.503 on the season.  After years of offensive mediocrity (at best), the fact that a guy whose OPS of .843 makes him fourth on the team is very impressive.
  • Jason Kubel also picked up a pair of hits, including a double, and plated a trio of runs on the night.
  • Even after dropping the can of corn in the seventh inning, Gomez picked the ball off the grass and proceeded to gun down Alberto Callaspo as he tried to take third base.  Mis-TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKE!!!
  • Mijares wasn't charged with a run on Saturday night.  He was the only Twins pitcher who wasn't.
  • Since July 10, Gomez is hitting .288/.345/.463.  Honestly.

#3:  Jason Kubel:  Three runs driven in off a pair of hits--that'll do, Patches.  That'll do.
#2:  Michael Cuddyer:  A big homer, a double, a pair of RBI's and a walk?  Giggidy.
#1:  Matt Guerrier:  Okay he allowed a run, but he gave Joe Nathan a night off after he'd thrown more than 50 pitches on Friday night, and he still shut the door.  Job done.

#1:  Jesse Crain:  AARRGGHH!!!
#2:  Bob Keppel:  Ditto.
#3:  Delmon Young:  0-for-5, 5 LOB.  AARRGGHH!!!