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Twins 3, Royals 0: Mike Pelfrey mystifies everyone

Mike Pelfrey could be pitching for his roster spot in Minnesota. On Wednesday night he threw a gem.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Royals might be the league's crankiest team, but they've also been one of the best in the season's early going. After getting knocked off in games one and two of the series, it wouldn't have been terribly surprising to see the Twins get swept in Kansas City. Especially with Mike Pelfrey on the mound.

Instead, Pelfrey delivered on of his best performances as a member of the Minnesota Twins. He worked himself into trouble on a couple of occasions but worked around it, and in the end he shut out the Royals over seven innings. He scattered five hits and walked two, striking out four, and he did what pitchers of his profile need to do: keep the ball on the ground. Kansas City repeatedly pounded the ball into the infield grass, only once mounting a real scoring threat. But again Pelfrey induced another ball into the ground, and Joe Mauer snagged Eric Hosmer's chopper at the first base bag to end the fifth.

Pelfrey saved his best stuff for his final two innings. Six up and six down in just 28 pitches pushed him through seven, and as of this morning Big Pelf owns a 2.65 ERA through three starts.

The Twins got on the board early, and that's good because the trio of runs they scored in the first were all they'd get. Danny Santana jumped all over the first pitch of the game for a double, but even though he foolishly tried to take third on a ground ball to his right it didn't stop Minnesota. Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer scored on singles by Brian Dozier and Kennys Vargas, and Oswaldo Arcia was plunked with the bases loaded. Kurt Suzuki rolled into a double play to end the first, so it could have easily been more than three runs.

Apart from the fact that the Twins won the game, the most exciting moment may have been in the top of the second inning. Hunter's two-out double was followed by walks from Mauer and Dozier. On an 0-1 pitch to Vargas, Hunter broke for home.

If Hunter had been just one step closer to the plate before he started his break - if he'd tried the same play when he was just a couple of years younger - he'd have made it. So close.

At any rate, Casey Fien and Glen Perkins closed out the game without so much as a whimper from the Royals. The win puts the team at 6-9 as they get on the road to Seattle, where a Mariners team that was one of the darling picks in the pre-season is off to a bit of a slow start.

The only other thing I'll mention is Yohan Pino. Pino has spent most of his career with the Twins organization, and after returning to Minnesota last year and making his Major League debut (plus ten other starts) he was signed by the Royals this last winter. He's appeared twice for Kansas City in relief, throwing four scoreless innings last week and 3.2 scoreless innings against the Twins last night. His ERA is a pristine 0.00 and he's struck out seven and not walked a soul in 7.2 innings.

Not to shabby.


# Commenter # Comments
1 SooFoo Fan 60
2 Brananorama 41
3 WestRiverTwinsFan 39
4 less cowbell, more 'neau 34
5 myjah 31
6 kenzertz 23
7 whiskeyplz 20
8 domesticllama 19
9 Daniel Louden 11
10 twinscrazy_german 8
11 sdsujacks 4
12 Luke in MN 3
13 gonzobob 1
14 beezer07 1


less cowbell, more 'neau: "What a horrible sitcom title."


whiskeyplz: "PECANS you crazy bastard! Get away!"


Mike Pelfrey - 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Torii Hunter - 2-for-5, +10 for the balls to try to steal home
Joe Mauer - 2-for-3, 2 walks
Brian Dozier - 2-for-4, walk
Trevor Plouffe - 1-for-3, 2 walks
Yohan Pino, because why not