Even as Tommy Milone couldn't record five outs, the Twins didn't give up today. That's the good news. The bad news is that, well, Tommy Milone couldn't record five outs. The good news, again, is that it wasn't because Milone was injured. No, it was just because he was terrible. That, again, is the bad news. Apart from two rain delays.
Now that I'm done toying with your emotions, and you know the final score anyway, let's talk about some of the good things. Danny Santana led off the bottom of the first with a triple, and as Jeremy Guthrie unintentionally intentionally walked Joe Mauer it gave Kennys Vargas the opportunity to cash in with the game's first run. And he did, on a soft liner into left field.
Ugly second, blah blah blah. Joe Mauer homered on the first pitch of his second at-bat, jacking his fourth homer of the year into the left-center field seats. Kennys Vargas did the same two innings later, with Mauer on following his second walk of the day. It was an absolute monster of a shot. Vargas does not have a sexy swing. But he gets sexy results. I honestly feel as if anyone rated his power lower than a 70 (and they did - note number 11), they've done him a disservice.
Speaking of massive power, in the eighth inning the Twins were trailing 11-4 in the bottom of the eighth when Oswaldo Arcia cranked his 11th homer of the season into Jim Thome territory. That's a phrase we're becoming accustomed to hearing with Arcia's tape-measure shots, and this one was deserving as it bounced into the concourse in deep right field. Bert Blyleven had just finished pontificating on whether Arcia would try to hit the ball seven miles or just hit the ball hard somewhere, since he had two strikes, it being a follow-on talking point between he and Dick Bremer as to the differences in approach at the plate between Arcia and Vargas. Suffice it to say it was a moot point. And holy cats can Arcia turn on a mistake anywhere inside.
Mauer had laced yet another hard-hit ball that inning, which Alex Gordon managed to track down. Kurt Suzuki laced a laser into right field in the same inning, but Nori Aoki managed to get to that one. Conversely, Mauer and Arcia each made some nice plays in the field today as well.
But that second inning screwed everyone. Except the Royals, who push their division lead back to one and a half games.
- Josh Willingham hit a home run off of Brian Duensing that reached the third deck. Honestly. If any of you chicks and dudes dig the long ball, I hope you caught this game. There were some real beauties.
- The team has announced it wants Jordan Schafter to get more playing time. Which is probably obvious, since they've also stated that they want Danny Santana to play more shortstop. Honestly. May as well write a story called "Man hopes for flipped coin to come up heads" with the follow up being "Other man has heart set on tails."
- In related news, Jordan Shafer was 0-for-4 today.
- Danny Santana struck out three more times again today. When he's figured out, he's figured out, and when he's hot, he's hot. Today he was figured out, and he's now gone down on strikes 54 times in 250 at-bats. He's walked 12 times.
- Joe Mauer is definitely feeling better, even if he's still playing through the oblique issue. His second homer in four games is nice, but he's now walked fives times and struck out once since his return to action. All while going 7-for-21 (.333).
- Eduardo Escobar's batting average is threatening to drop below .270, which naturally means he'll go 4-for-6 over his next two games with three doubles.
- Kennys Vargas was a triple short of the cycle today, and has now driven in 15 runs in 15 games.
- Sam Deduno got the Twins through the fourth with 2.1 innings of scoreless work. It was clearly the highlight of the afternoon for Minnesota pitchers.