Ricky Nolasco pitched a great game tonight, giving up only five hits over eight shut-out innings. On the back of Kennys Vargas, who was only a double short of the cycle, Nolasco looked like he was in line for the win--but this game just had to get a little more exciting than that.
After slumping recently, Kennys Vargas came back tonight and provided most of the offensive power for the Twins. With the score still 0-0, Kennys led off the 4th inning with a mega Kennys Vargas triple, the first of his career, and one that Ron Gardenhire later described as, "going to a strip pit and watching dump trucks go all over the place and unload dirt and take off back up the hill." Kurt Suzuki drove in Vargas on an RBI single for the first run of the game.
There was no more scoring until the bottom of the 6th inning, when Kennys Vargas launched a one-run home-run into right field, bringing the score to 2-0. It was Kennys 25th home run of the year between the minor and major leagues, a mark David Ortiz said he would award Kennys with a necklace if he reached. So pay up, Big Papi!
Kennys Vargas also hit an infield single in the bottom of the 2nd inning, meaning he was only a double away from the cycle at this point. It was his eighth infield single of the year, to which he joked, "Good speed. I'm so fast!"
Ricky Nolasco and the Twins held on to the 2-0 lead going into the top of the 9th, when "all-star" closer Glen Perkins came in and promptly gave up the lead, blowing the save. Almost in a replay of last night, Torii Hunter doubled, Miguel Cabrera singled, and then J.D. Martinez hit a home run to drive all of them in (Torii is old and slow now, apparently, and could only make it to third on the Cabrera single) to put the Tigers up 3-2.
Thankfully, we have our old buddy Joe. Not that Joe, the other Joe.
Joe Nathan came in to close it out for the Tigers, which he hasn't been quite as good at this year, I guess. He got Vargas to ground out for the first out, ending his bid for the cycle. After that, however, things didn't go so well for our old friend. Trevor Plouffe walked, and then scored on a double from Suzuki. Nathan got Eduardo Nunez to ground out, sending Suzuki to third, but he failed to get out our ultimate hitter, Aaron Hicks, who just barely beat out the throw for a game-winning, walk-off single.
Glen Perkins got the win.
- Eduardo Escobar fell strangely on his arm making a play in the 4th inning, and was replaced by the other Eduardo. Escobar is said to have some sort of sprain, and is day-to-day.
- Oswaldo Arcia wore a big hooded sweatshirt and a winter hat on the bench tonight. It was around 63 degrees.
- Arcia is also going to be missing more time with his back injury.
- Joe Nathan, the Minnesota Twins all-time franchise saves leader, blew his seventh save of the year today. And no, as much as Detroit fans might make you think otherwise, he is not the league leader in that category.
- Ricky Nolasco - 8 innings pitched, 0 runs, 5 hits, 5 Ks, 1 BB. SHOULD have the win--thanks a lot, Glen Perkins.
- Kurt Suzuki - 2-for-4, 2 hits, 2 RBIs, called a great game!
- Kennys Vargas - 3-for-4, 1 home run, 1 triple, 1 infield single, 2 runs.
- Aaron Hicks - 1-for-3, walk-off hit, 1 RNI, 1 walk.
- Joe Nathan - 1 inning pitched, 7th blown save. Gave up walk-off hit to Aaron Hicks. You still love us, and we still love you.
- Glen Perkins - 1 inning pitched, 7th blown save. Why don't you love us still?
- Joe Mauer - 0-for-4, 0 walks, 0 RBI, 1 strikeout, way too tired from changing diapers.
The REAL hardcores came out tonight. Props to you all!
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