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I've Got A Span-Crush: Twins Win Big As Denard Span Drives In Six

Twins 11, Royals 6:  Way to choke, Chicago.

Every time Denard Span comes to bat in the near future, all Kansas City Royals fans should avert their eyes for the greatness that his His Royal Span-ness.  Tonight, his Royal Span-ness tripled to give the Twins their first and only lead of the game, scoring three to run the score to 5-2.  It was all gravy from there.

Early on, Scott Baker gave up a couple of pop-fly homers to Alberto Callaspo and Brayan Pena; a pair of solo shots that both hitters looked to just get a piece of.  Magically, they both left the field in almost exactly the same place in right field.  The only conclusion I can draw is that the Royals had their fans blowing out.  Fans, as in air circulation fans, because I think a lot of the fans fans at the game were Twins fans.  Of which there weren't nearly enough blowing IN.

After that Baker settled in and cruised, hitless, until the seventh.  Four-plus innings of hitless ball, but three batters into the seventh Baker had allowed one run, and had a man on third with one out.  Ron Mahay came on to stem the....well, I use the term "tide" loosely, as this game wasn't exactly over although that man from third did score to get the Royals within three at 7-4.

Back to everyone's new Span-crush, Denard is showing absolutely no ill signs of being hit in the back of the head.  Which is nice.  Three singles and a triple on the night have him a 4-for-5 evening, and the six runs batted in have accounted for 9% of his season totals in that category.  Other studs in tonight's 11-run explosion include...

  • Joe Mauer, whose two singles and a walk garnered him his 91st and 92nd RBI of the season and a  .371 batting average.  Ichiro Suzuki, it should be noted, was 0-for-3 before getting tossed after drawing a line in the dirt (get everything you need to know right here) and is now batting .353.
  • Nick Punto, who was 0-for-1 on the night but walked not once, not twice but thrice.  Three walks tonight for Popeye's second cousin twice removed.  He's not a sailor, both eyes are fully functional and he doesn't mumble incoherently, but he does has massive forearms.  It's great to see Punto contribute again.
  • Brendan Harris picked up a pair of hits and an RBI, and Orlando Cabrera's solid single late in the game tacked on a run as well.

Baker's final line wasn't exactly glowing, but he did pitch better than his numbers.  Something he's done on more than one occasion this season.  On the Royals' side of the rubber, Lenny DiNardo had the exact kind of night he should have had against an offense like the Twins:  a bad one.  Yasuhiko Yabuta is also welcome to pitch against the Twins anytime he likes, surrendering four runs off four hits and a walk while tallying a single out.  Good times.

The only downside to tonight's game is that the White Sox managed to lose choke vomit all over themselves and lose to the Tigers.  After leading 5-0 through four, Chicago allowed at least one run per inning the rest of the game en route to a 12-5 ass kicking where they allowed a score of hits.  That's right, I said it, a score.

Tonight's game was a grand one, no doubt about it.  Sadly we head into the final game in Kauffman Stadium for 2009 tomorrow against one Zack Greinke still trailing the Tigers by two games.  If there's ever a time to play your best baseball of the season, it's right now.  Good for Detroit for doing the same.

Hopefully it will make next week all the sweeter.  We'll find out.  But...GREINKE FIRST.  I'll see you in the morning.

Stars of the Game
#3:  Joe Mauer  (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .061 WPA)
#2:  Nick Punto  (0-for-1, 3 BB, 2 R, .081 WPA)
#1:  Denard Span  (4-for-5, 3B, 6 RBI, R, .346 WPA)