The Twins scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Think about that, hold onto it, love it, and then let it go. Because if you think about it too much, all you're doing is asking for trouble. That kind of pain will lead you to the Dark side of the Force.
Brian Dozier cracked his 35th double of the season, two more than his previous career marks of 33 in both 2013 and 2014. Joe Mauer drove him in with a single, and he'd join Trevor Plouffe in scoring when Torii Hunter hit his 20th home run of the campaign. It's the 11th time in Hunter's career that he's hit 20 or more homers, which is pretty incredible. Kurt Suzuki would tally his own double later in the inning, his 17th, which would plate Eddie Rosario and give Minnesota a five-run first.
Tommy Milone had worked around back-to-back two-out walks in the top of the first, putting up a scoreless top half in spite of throwing 27 pitches. In our pre-game notes of the game thread we mentioned how well the Angels had seen Milone in his career, and that history bore itself out in a terrible second inning. Three singles, a walk, and a double all preceded a grand slam off the bat of the great Mike Trout. His 37th home run of the year put the cap on a six-run second for the Angels.
Paul Molitor had pulled Milone just prior to the Trout at-bat, and with good reason. Milone had just walked in a run to push the score to 5-2. But A.J. Achter may as well have been a middle school pitcher facing a professional, starting off Trout 2-0 before leaving a batting practice fastball right over the heart of the plate.
The rest of the game was very much the same. Taylor Featherston somehow homered in the third, and Trout homered again to lead off the top of the fourth. A bit solo shot by Aaron Hicks in the bottom of the eighth was perhaps the only other highlight worth mentioning for the Twins.
Some days you're the bat and some days you're the ball. On Wednesday, both teams were the bat. Except Minnesota's pitching sucked a little bit more than the Angels'. Starters Hector Santiago and Tommy Milone pitched a combined three innings, allowing ten of the game's 19 runs.
If you want a summary of how the Twins' relief pitching looked: Achter didn't look good at all. It was almost like he was just up there throwing and not worrying about getting hitters out; obviously that's not true, but considering his performance that's what it looked like. Ryan O'Rourke, J.R. Graham, and Neal Cotts all served up a run of their own, although Graham did strike out three in two innings. The only Minnesota reliever to not allow a run last night was Michael Tonkin, who struck out one and gave up a pair of hits in two innings of work.
At least it's September, and Paul Molitor's bullpen isn't completely shot after that stain of a contest. Let's see if Minnesota can turn it around tonight and take advantage of the fact that the Houston Astros don't like winning right now, either.
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COMMENT OF THE GAME THREAD