The Minnesota Twins are here to do two things: chew bubblegum and win road games. And they are all out of bubblegum. (All proceeds from this post go to the Rowdy Roddy Piper estate.)
The Twins ran their 2017 road record to a remarkable 16-5 with an 11-2 thrashing of the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. They remain in first place by a full game with Cleveland’s loss to Kansas City.
The Twins got on the board right away against Angels starter J.C. Ramirez, with a 2-run oppo dong from area MVP Joe Mauer in the top of the first. They added to that in the third with two more 2-run dong strokes, one from Robbie Grossman and another from Max Kepler.
The dread lingering over this early-inning outburst was that this probably wouldn’t be enough to keep Kyle Gibson from making a hash of things. However, Gibson was on his game against a Trout-less Angels lineup, putting up 5.2 innings of very competent pitching. He was particularly effective against the ghost of Albert Pujols, who struck out twice and limped into a critical double play as Gibson wore down in the sixth.
If you want even more heartening news about the pitching staff (and after the start of this week, you damn well better), Alex Wimmers relieved Gibson, got the last out of the sixth thanks to having Byron Buxton as an outfielder, then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Fellow call-up Randy Rosario did the same in the 8th before getting tagged for three innocent runs in the ninth.
That said, this Angels team was struggling with a healthy Mike Trout, and they’re straight-up bad without him. But after barely scraping by them on Thursday, Minnesota put the pedal to the floor on Friday, tacking on bunches of insurance runs (Miguel Sano single, Max Kepler scored on a wild pitch, BYRON BUXTON 2-run double, Mauer single) to ensure a sound sleep for those who made it all the way past midnight for the game’s conclusion.
Special shout-out to Joe Mauer, who notched four hits and a very nice play at first base.
STUDS: Mauer, Gibson, Wimmers, Grossman, Kepler
DUDS: The Angels as an enterprise.
ROBOT ROLL CALL:
|3||less cowbell, more 'neau||39|
|16||Too Rich To Write Checks||5|
|24||Pau from the sky-tinted water||1|
Enjoy your weekend, everybody.