Yohan Pino wasn't stellar, but he was spotted a 2-0 lead before he threw his first pitch and went into the seventh with a 4-2 lead. Back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt to lead off the bottom half of that inning put runners in scoring position with just one away, however, and Ron Gardenhire - quite correctly - went to his bullpen.
And the bullpen imploded. Again. By giving up four runs late. Again.
On Friday night it was Casey Fien, but on Saturday it was Brian Duensing and Jared Burton who took their lumps. Duensing faced one batter, throwing just one pitch the streaking Adam Eaton. Eaton jumped all over Duensing's slider for a double, bringing in both runners to tie the game. Burton then came in and threw one pitch, this one a fastball to Gordon Beckham, who also doubled to give the White Sox the lead at 5-4.
A two-run lead was erased and turned into a one-run deficit on two pitches and back-to-back doubles off of two different pitchers. *Change the channel.* Chicago would add another run before Ryan Pressly would come in and finally get the Twins off the field.
Do you remember earlier in the season, when the Twins were fun to watch, those games where they would inevitably be kicked around and lose a lead and we'd all sit there with our head in our hands muttering "here we go again" to ourselves, only to discover that the team had a life after all? They'd find a way to put together two or three runs an come away with a win. It feels like so long ago.
But that's what the Twins did on Saturday night. Trevor Plouffe picked up his third of four hits with a one out single and he later scored when, who else, Kurt Suzuki came through with a run-scoring single into right field. The game was once again tied, but with runners on second and third with two away Oswaldo Arcia came through with a double to put the Twins back on top 8-6.
This time, Fien got through the eighth. Glen Perkins saved it, his 27th of the year, and the Twins came away with a win. Another win today brings them to within ten games of .500. That doesn't sound like much, but every win means something. Especially after how the team has played down the stretch in recent years.
NO DUDS TWINS WIN
Win Expectancy Graph