Stepping onto the mound for the top of the first inning last night, Kyle Gibson had to know he had the junior varsity lineup behind him. His outfield had more range than usual, but the 5-6-7 in the batting order was Eduardo Escobar, Chris Herrmann, and Shane Robinson. As good as Escobar's splits are versus southpaws, when the entire Internet exploded on Twitter about the terrible lineup Minnesota was trotting out - it was understandable.
Instead, what occurred was like a comedy of errors courtesy of the baseball gods. No, not errors in the traditional baseball sense, but in terms of everything happening just as a delusional Twins fan might envision things happening in the best-case scenario. Kyle Gibson stymied the Athletics for six innings. His defense made some spectacular plays, capped off by Shane Robinson's incredible diving catch in the right-center field gap to end the blowout.
Escobar, who had been off to a slow start, collected three hits - including a two-run homer, a two-run double, and a sac fly to bring home Torii Hunter. He demolished Scott Kazmir, who normally owns the Twins, after being derided for hitting fifth. His career-high five RBI day led the team.
Kennys Vargas put the cap on the scoring with a monstrous three-run bomb into the upper deck in right-center field. It may have still be going up when it hit the seats.
But out of all of the night's highlights for the Twins, and there were plenty, the best one had to be Eddie Rosario's first Major League plate appearance. The broadcast showed his family, some five or six members strong, standing to video Rosario's debut.
Leading off the bottom of the third inning, he took the very first pitch he saw and lined it the other way. Over the fence in left field. He put the Twins up 1-0, and in spite of the subsequent 12 additional runs it was all Gibson and Minnesota would need.
The surging Twins improve to 15-13, and the struggling A's fall to 12-17. The series finale is today at noon.
|7||less cowbell, more 'neau||30|
COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD(S)
kenzertz: "He hit a flaccid double, too."
NO DUDS, TWINS WIN