Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Game 3 - Long-Ball Edition

One night after scratching and clawing their way to a win, the Twins won more conventionally on Wednesday evening, defeating the Seattle Mariners 6-5 to improve their record to 2-1. Not to say that this one was easy, as the Twins had to overcome a poor start by Kevin Slowey and some Seattle long-balls (Russell Branyan and Jose Lopez).

Slowey went 6 innings, but allowed 5 runs and scattered 9 hits. He picked up the win, however, due to the efforts of the bullpen (scoreless innings by Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain, and Joe Nathan) and the two-run homer (one each by Justin Morneau and Denard Span). Morneau knocked in another run later in the game, and Jason Kubel accounted for the other RBI. Morneau, Kubel, and Alexi Casilla had two hits apiece. On the other side, Joe Crede went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. The Twins treated old friend Carlos Silva rather rudely, touching him up for 8 hits and 6 runs over 5 innings.

The final game of the opening series is tomorrow, with a battle of lefties: Jarrod Washburn for Seattle and Glen Perkins for the Twins. The Twins have seemingly been in love with Washburn for a number of years, as rumors persist about them trying to deal for the veteran lefty. He's had a long career, but his days as a serviceable starter are fading, and he is yet another example of Seattle's contract mistakes ($10.35M in 2009; in final year of 4-year, $37.5M deal), joining Adrian Beltre (5 years, $64M), Carlos Silva (4 years, $48M), Miguel Bautista (3 years, $25M), and, my personal favorite bad contract, Kenji Johjima (3 years, $24M for a guy who hit a pathetic .227/.277/.332 the year he received his contract) - HT: Cot's Baseball Contracts site.

Around the AL Central:
  • Detroit 5, Toronto 1 - Zach Miner was solid in his start, allowing 6 hits and 1 run in 5.2 innings of work. Miguel Cabrera continued his strong series, going 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI, and Brandon Inge homered in his third-straight game.
  • Kansas City 2, Chicago White Sox 0 - Zack Greinke made Joe Posnanski proud Wednesday with 6 shutout innings while racking up 7 strikeouts. Juan Cruz bridged the gap to Joakim Soria, who pitched a scoreless 9th for the save. KC pitchers allowed only 3 hits. Gavin Floyd went 7 for Chicago, giving up 6 hits, 2 runs, and striking out 9. KC's Mike Aviles and Mark Teahen had two hits apiece.
  • Texas 8, Cleveland 5 - First Cliff Lee, now Fausto Carmona. Carmona was lit up by the Texas Rangers, allowing 7 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings. Nelson Cruz homered twice for Texas, and Elvis Andrus (a legitimate rookie of the year prospect in my mind) collected 2 hits, including his first major league home run. Cleveland left a staggering 23 men on base in this game.
Around the minors:
  • AA New Britain loses its opener 7-4 to New Hampshire. Starter Jeff Manship got rocked for 7 hits and 6 runs in 4 innings. Joe Gaetti and Whit Robbins had 2 hits apiece.
  • All other Twins' affiliates begin their seasons Thursday.
Today's musical interlude comes from a soulful duo out of Philadelphia, PA.

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