In this afternoon's rubber match game at Tropicana Field, the Twins were looking for a little veteran presence from Ricky Nolasco to lead them to a series win. Turns out, the bats brought much of the heat for the team's win, and a lot of it was thanks to former Rays outfielder Sam Fuld(!).
The pitching in today's game was erm...solid enough for a win. Nolasco lasted 6 innings, but gave up 10 hits and 6 earned runs (walked 2, struck out 1). The bullpen came in in the seventh and, for the most part, closed out the game harmlessly enough. Caleb Thielbar pitched 2/3 of the 7th inning, giving up a hit. Michael Tonkin came in to get Ben Zobrist out and the inning was over. The eighth inning was a little sloppier, as Jared Burton gave up a couple hits and an earned run, though he did strike out two batters in his inning pitched. Glen Perkins, hero, came in to shut the door in the 9th (no hits, no walks, 2 Ks), and that was that for the pitching.
The offense did put on quite the show today, as the hitting bug hit much of the team. Four batters in the lineup had multi-hit games: Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe, Kurt Suzuki, and Sam Fuld. Suzuki, who continues to prove why he was such a great pickup this past offseason for Minnesota, went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Awesome. Sam Fuld, the Twins' pickup from Tampa, went 3-for-5 with a couple RBI doubles and a run scored. Both Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-5 with a walk. Aaron Hicks also hit a 3-run bomb in the 5th off of Heath Bell, further proof that any Twin can hit well in Tampa. There were a few Twins who went hitless as well: Chris Colabello (0-for-5, still hitting .325), Josmil Pinto (0-for-3), and Pedro Florimon (0-for-5, now hitting .125).
Today's win earned the Twins the series win, as well as brought their record above .500. Tomorrow, Minnesota takes on division rivals the Detroit Tigers at home at Target Field. Game time is 7:10. Be there or be square.
|12||Luke in MN||7|
|22||less cowbell, more 'neau||2|
Win Expectancy, courtesy of Fangraphs.com
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-04-24&team=Rays&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2014-04-24&team=Rays&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>