If plenty of runs sounds like a recurring theme, it's because it is. The Twins have been averaging nearly 8 runs per game over the past two weeks, and they doubled that average in a 15-3 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon.
The second inning provided more than enough runs for the Twins, as they sent 11 men to the plate as they took a 6-0 lead. Justin Morneau notched a single and RBI double in the inning alone, and actually the Twins piranha'd their way through the second as they had only one extra base hit in their 11 plate appearances - Morneau's RBI double as the 10th hitter in the half-inning.
The third inning was similar and different all at the same time. The Twins added 4 more runs against Pirates starter Kevin Correia, but this time they turned the power on. Ryan Doumit led off with a home run, and doubles by Danny Valencia and Trevor Plouffe kept the offense going.
Twins starter Anthony Swarzak was great today, as he went 6 innings with 6 strikeouts and only one run allowed. That lone run came in his last inning on a sacrifice fly by Josh Harrison brought in Pirates minor leaguer Anthony Norman, who had tripled leading off the inning.
A whole bunch of bolded things are after the jump.
Even after today's outing, it appears as though Swarzak is destined for the 'pen. The starting rotation will be Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Liam Hendriks, and Nick Blackburn, as the Twins will not need a 5th starter until the second week of the season. We already know that Scott Baker was placed on the 15-day DL, and it's probably safe to assume that Jason Marquis will start the season on the bereavement list.
Winner of The Battle For Squatter's Rights: A Dark Horse so dark, so horse-like, that not even Biff Tannen's sports almanac could have predicted it. The winner of the much anticipated role of third catcher for the 2012 Minnesota Twins is.... no one.
Denard Span (4 for 5, 2B, RBI, 3 R), Trevor Plouffe, (3 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI), Joe Mauer (4 RBI), Ryan Doumit (2 for 5, HR), Brian Dozier (3 for 4, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R), Anthony Swarzak (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 6 K)
Everyone was passable or better today. Yes, even Matt Capps.