At SOME point, this will stop. At least, that's what I tell myself between slugs of gin.
The stakes were obviously much lower this time, and thanks to the Red Sox, the Twins maintained their early season lead over the Tigers in the AL Central standings. But the same depressing storyline held sway once again. Just like the last time they played at Yankee Stadium, the Twins couldn't capitalize on early opportunities against A.J. Burnett and watched their bullpen blow a late lead on a moonshot from Alex Rodriguez. Final: New York 8, Minnesota 4. Guh.
Scott Baker pitched well enough in the loss, allowing 3 runs through the first six innings and notching nine strikeouts. He should have gone into the 7th with a nice lead, but yet again the Twins failed with runners in scoring position. First inning: runners on second and first with one out, zero runs. Second inning: bases loaded, nobody out, and a run already scored on a walk, zero additional runs. The beat goes on. Guh.
So, after Joe Mauer (3-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Justin Morneau (2-4, 2B, RBI) put the Twins ahead 4-3 n the top of 7th on some outstanding 2-out hitting, Baker gave up an infield hit to Francisco Cervelli, followed by a fluke double from Derek Jeter that ricocheted off his leg, and his night was done. Enter Brian Duensing, who induced a pop-up from Brett Gardner. With the score still 4-3 Twins, Duensing intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to load the bases, and gave way to Matt Guerrier.
Something you may not know about Matt Guerrier: he can't get Alex Rodriguez out. Like, ever. Which is unfortunate, since the man he was brought into face was Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod vaporized a Guerrier fastball in short order, four runs scored, and that was all she wrote. Guerrier's career numbers against Rodriguez now: 5-for-7, 4 HRs. Guh.
Francisco Liriano: pitch like an ace tomorrow. Thanks in advance.