In the interest of full disclosure: I didn't actually watch this game. Or at least, not much of it. I saw a few moments in the third and watched the eighth, but outside of that I was checking out the Futures Game. Which was fun, and I don't regret it for a moment. I regret nothing!
It turns out that the Twins like hitting in Colorado, just like everyone else in baseball. In the first half finale, Minnesota exploded for 13 runs off of 18 hits, including a five-run first, a pair of homers from Brian Dozier, and multi-hit days from Dozier, Kurt Suzuki, Trevor Plouffe, Chris Parmelee, Eduardo Escobar, and Sam Fuld.
Phil Hughes got touched for a pair of runs in both the first and the second, worked around trouble in the third and then had another run cross in the fifth, but the good news is that three of the five runs were essentially fielder's choice/sacrifice plays. If you're going to allow a run, I suppose that's the way to do it. He finished with five runs in five innings off of ten hits, but struck out six without surrendering a walk.
Chris Parmelee opened the scoring by picking up his second hit with runners in scoring position this year, also his second in two days, by driving in a pair with a single in the first. Brett Anderson would probably prefer to just pretend that inning never existed.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rockies had worked it back to 5-4 and had a runner on second with two away. Hughes' breaking ball skipped away from Suzuki but Gonzalez, who had swung through it for strike three, had to dash to first. Suzuki managed to track the ball down and make a nice throw to first to retire the side on a play that was ruled and confirmed as an out following a challenge, but considering the tying run would have been on third base if the call went the other way you could say it was one of the game's biggest moments.
The very next batter was Plouffe in the top of the fifth, who launched a ball over Charlie Blackmon's head in center field. Plouffe pushed for third, got there, and then the ball hit him and ricocheted into the crowd to bring Plouffe home. Considering the play that had just occurred to bring the Twins to the plate, it was kind of a kick in the teeth.
Dozier basically put the game away. Leading 8-5 in the top of the eighth, Dozier led off by pulling a 1-0 fastball into the corner for his 17th home run of the season. Leading 10-5 in the ninth, Dozier's 18th homer was a three-run blast that put to bed any plausible idea of a wish of a comeback. We'll call it that since five runs is statistically improbable to overcome in the ninth anyway.
Samuel Deduno, Matt Guerrier, Casey Fien, and Glen Perkins put together four scoreless innings to lock the game up, and just like that the Twins take their second series in a row and finish the first half with five wins in their last seven games. Their record is 44-50, which is nice since the 2013 squad didn't win their 44th game until July 26.
NO DUDS TWINS WIN