A win is a win.
Scott Baker was magnificent. Eight innings of shutout baseball against not just a great team, but against one of the best hurlers in the game in David Price. Neither pitcher received much offense: Jason Repko's RBI double in the second scored Danny Valencia, and only a late rally off Matt Capps vaulted the Rays into extra innings.
Both clubs had opportunities to win this game, but the Twins couldn't convert their chances and Capps struck out the final two hitters in the ninth. The Rays wouldn't collect a hit in extra innings, as Jesse Crain worked around a pair of walks in the tenth.
Lance Cormier, who had allowed just one single in three innings of work, began his fourth inning by allowing the Twins to take the lead without recording an out. Alexi Casilla walked on four straight pitches (the fourth of which might have been a strike), Joe Mauer moved him to third on his first hit of the night and then Delmon Young delivered. Again. With just a little bit of luck.
Young was early on an outside curveball. Even though it was exactly what Cormier hoped for, a hard infield roller, a shallow Jason Bartlett couldn't get to the ball and it trickled into left field. Even though Young managed to make decent contact, in most instances it might have been a double play.
Matt Guerrier pitched a pair of scoreless innings, finishing with the win.
Notes, studs and duds after the jump.
- The White Sox won again. No ground gained.
- The Twins play for a split in Tampa this afternoon. EARLY GAME, PEOPLE. Be ready.
- Crain, Jose Mijares and Guerrier combined for four scoreless innings.
- J.J. Hardy finished with a pair of hits, both doubles.
- Danny Valencia also had two hits...and a walk.
- Baker's off-speed pitches worked. That was a big difference for him, getting Rays hitters to chase.
- Every two-strike at-bat was turned into an out for Baker.
- All three hits off Baker were doubles.
Scott Baker: 8 IP, 3 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 R, .662 WPA
Matt Guerrier: 2 IP, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 0 R, .361 WPA, 2.32 pLI
Joe Mauer: 1-for-4, 2 BB, .221 WPA
Jesse Crain: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 K, 2 BB, 0 R, .146 WPA, 2.48 pLI
Michael Cuddyer: 0-for-6, -.296 WPA
Denard Span: 0-for-6, -.282 WPA
Matt Capps: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 R, -.285 WPA, 3.80 pLI