The magic of the "M" caps was evident again as the Twins wore them to another victory tonight. They scored 4 times in the first inning off Indians starter Josh Tomlin, capped by a two-run single from Trevor Plouffe, and looked to coast to an easy victory.
However, the Indians were able to chip away at the lead. They scored single runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, with none of the runs coming with the aid of an extra-base hit. The damage in the first off P.J. Walters could have been much worse, as the Indians had the bases loaded with only one out, but Walters did induce Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman groundball force outs (surrendering a run in the process on the Brantley grounder) to escape with limited damage.
It was pretty clear that Walters did not have his best stuff. He again had trouble with his control (3 walks) and allowed a total of 11 baserunners in less than 5 innings. Fortunately, manager Ron Gardenhire was more focused on getting a team win instead of a pitcher's win, and removed Walters in the 5th inning after he finally gave up the lead. The Indians have struggled against lefthanded pitching this season, and that was true to form as Brian Duensing came in and shut the door, preventing the Tribe from scoring despite inheriting runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out.
The Twins did break the tie in the 6th inning with a solo homer from Trevor Plouffe, seemingly the only type of hit he's been able to accumulate lately with the exception of his 1st inning single. Then in the 7th, Joe Mauer added his 3rd homer of the year, a 2-run shot courtesy of the lefthanded Tony Sipp, that gave the Twins a 3 run lead that they did not relinquish.
Joe Mauer (3 for 5, 2-run HR, 3 RBI), Trevor Plouffe (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI), the bullpen of Duensing, Jared Burton, Glen Perkins, and Matt Capps (combined 4 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 6 K)
Jamey Carroll (0 for 4), P.J. Walters (4.1 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 2 K)