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Twins 7, Cleveland 5: Minnesota Gets the Series Split

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Joe Mauer: back to being awesome.
Joe Mauer: back to being awesome.

Because I've been pretty busy this week with moving and school and work and other stuff, Brady was kind enough to help with the recap today. What follows is a mix of our recaps.

Nick Blackburn’s outing started off quite ominously. Ezequiel Carerra started the game off with a base hit, but defensive super stud Drew Butera threw him out stealing second. The rest of the inning went quite the same way we’d expect it to go: two ground ball outs. No big thing.

In the bottom of the frame, Ben Revere recorded his first hit of the series, and would score a run on Alexi Casilla’s double, who would later score on offensive super stud Joe Mauer’s base hit. By the bottom of the first inning, the Twins would be up 2-0.

Full recap, notes, and studs & duds after the jump.

For his part, Nick Blackburn was aces today. He’d record 7 Ks, and 2 BBs, which would result in 2 earned runs. In the fourth inning, the Cleveland Indians loaded up the bases without making an out. Ezequiel Carerra singled, Asdrubal Cabrera singled, and Travis Hafner walked. But, Nick Blackburn struck out Carlos Santana. Matt Laporta hit a long fly ball to Ben Revere who just missed it, allowing two runs to score. An eleven pitch at bat coaxed by former Twin Orlando Cabrera would result in weak ground ball that would plate Travis Hafner to give the Tribe a 3-2 lead.

The Indians' lead would be short lived as Michael Cuddyer would single to lead off the bottom of the frame, and big Jim Thome would hit career double number 433 to tie the game. Delmon Young then slashed a single to left-center to give the home team a 4-3 lead.

Unfortunately, the lead would only last until the 6th inning when a passed ball by Drew Butera would score Hafner.

Alex Burnett and Jose Mijares would combine for a scorless inning in the 7th.

Cleveland would send out side-armer Joe Smith in the 7th, who would get Delmon Young to fly out to center, and strike out Tsuyoshi Nishioka, but would then give up a single to Butera, and strike out Revere.

Mijares would return in the 8th and would promptly give up a double to Asrdrubal Cabrera. He then got Hafner to fly out. Next, the Twins would send out reviled pitcher Matt Capps. He actually pitched fairly competently today, leaving the runner at third and not allowing any runs to score.

In the bottom of the 9th, Alexi Casilla (the Birthday Boy) would come through with a ground rule double. I’m convinced he would’ve turned it into an inside the park home run had it not bounced over the fence. He was half way to third when it bounced over. This just in-he’s really fast. He’d then go to 3rd on Mauer’s single, and would score on Danny Valencia’s base hit. Mauer and Hughes scored on Nishioka’s single.

Joe Nathan came out in the 9th to close it out and after giving up a solo homer to Lonnie Chisenhall (his 2nd in the bigs), managed to shut it down with no more damage. Twins win, and don't lose (or gain...) any ground in the AL Central.

STUDS

Nick Blackburn: 2 BB, 1 ER, 7 Ks

Alexi Casilla: 2-3 with two doubles.

Drew Butera: 1-3 and he caught 2 runners stealing second.

Joe Mauer: 2-4.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka: 2-4.

Danny Valencia: 1-4. Go ahead RBI.


DUDS

Ben Revere: 2 run error

Again, thanks to Brady for the help!