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Twins Tomahawk Indians 10-1


Carlos Gomez and Joe Mauer led the offense and Scott Baker provided seven shutout innings to pace the Twins past the hapless Tribe at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Twins needed this one after getting drubbed at home at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim by a combined score of 54-14 over the weekend. Outs were hard to come by in that series, so each inning Baker put up a zero acted like a salve on a wounded team.  True, the Indians might as well be a AAA team and the Angels belong in a league of their own. But I'm sure the players felt good to actually get into the dugout without sitting out there for a half hour per half inning.

Whether or not the short half innings in the field had any effect, as the game went along, the Twins bats seemed to get more life. Jason Kubel started the scoring in the second with his 19th homer and Carlos Gomez added an RBI single in the same inning to stake Baker to a lead. The Twins broke the game open in the fifth, batting around on successive RBI doubles by Orlando Cabrera and Mauer, and a three-run homer by Gomez. 

Every Twin except Nick Punto had at least one hit. Mauer had three doubles. Gomez had three hits including the homer and a double. Cabrera added two doubles. Justin Morneau, Kubel and Delmon Young all contributed two hits to the balanced attack.

Jesse Crain pitched a scoreless eighth, consistently registering in the upper 90s and really challenging hitters. Gone were the nibbling sinker-ball ways he featured when he first came back from the minors. Very much present was his knee-buckling curve ball. Hopefully, this is an outing he can build on. Bobby Keppel had an adventurous ninth and escaped on a double play after surrendering two hits, a walk and the only Indians run in his inning of work. In contrast to Crain, that was definitely one he'll want to forget, just like all his outings the last two weeks.

Studs:

1. Scott Baker: He had all his pitches working. He worked quickly and attacked the strike zone.

2. Carlos Gomez: The talk of the last half of the game was his being a triple short of the cycle. Alas, he was left on the on-deck circle. He also added a great catch and four RBI.

3. Joe Mauer: Three doubles, two to left, one down the right field line. How do you pitch to this guy?

HM: Orlando Cabrera: He had eight put outs and two doubles. Shades of Shannon Stewart in 2004.

 

Duds:

Nick Punto: He eneded the second, fourth and fifth innings with weak at bats. The rest of the team was pounding the ball and he looked feeble.

Jensen Lewis: Gomez hit the first pitch he saw from Lewis into the left-field bleachers for a three-run bomb. That wasn't the only hard-hit ball he gave up. Mauer and Morneau played pepper against the left field wall in the following inning against him.

David Huff: It's a long way down for Indians' fans from CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee.