While Justin Verlander certainly wasn't on his game, it was Detroit reliever Chris Lambert who let the game get completely out of hand. And for that, Twins Territory thanks him. Between those two pitchers the Twins tee'd off like it was batting practice, knocking out 17 hits en route to their 11 runs. Watching highlights of this game was sort of like watching highlights of what happens every time the Pinball Wizard shot another ball off a bumper.
Everybody on the Twins side of the ball picked up at least one hit. Denard Span multiplied that by five, leading off the contest with a double. Joe Mauer followed that up with yet another home run to left field, his 20th of the season, to give the Twins a 2-0 lead to set the tone before the Tigers even came to bat. Span added four singles the rest of the night, getting his batting average back up to .300 for the first time since he went 2-for-4 against Seattle on June 7.
Nick Punto's initiation of a double play in the fifth, from his knees, was one of the defensive highlights. With runners on the corners and one out he threw onto Alexi Casilla at second base, who threw hard across his body to first. Justin Morneau made the scoop to convert the double play and keep the Tigers off the board. Morneau made a couple of key plays in the field Saturday night, including the snag on a high throw from Carl Pavano early in the contest. Justin is tall, and it's a good thing.
Naturally the star of the night was Pavano. He's destroyed the Tigers four times this season, and last night's seven-inning, zero-run performance was just another gem. It was interesting watching him. Pavano's a big guy, and he looks a little strange in a Twins uniform. When he uncoils from his windup it's almost like you expect him to be a little wild, yet he's still aggressive. He did a good job of keeping Detroit off-balance, getting them to swing at multiple pitches in the dirt or otherwise out of the strike zone.
It was great to get back into the win column. Now we have to do it again to close that gap. We'll see you this afternoon for the game!