Friday, April 10, 2009

Game #5 - On a Cold Chicago Night....

The Twins used a 7-run 7th inning to break open a 4-3 game in route to defeating the Chicago White Sox 12-5 in Chicago's home opener. The Twins overcame spotty defense (2 errors, a dropped foul pop) by collecting 15 hits. The Twins are now 3-2.

Denard Span and Alexi Casilla each had 3 hits, while Justin Morneau, Jose Morales, and Nick Punto had 2 a piece. Joe Crede's first game on the South Side in a visitor's uniform was successful, as the new 3B hit his first home run. Morneau also went deep for the Twins, and knocked in 4 runs. Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin homered for Chicago, who dropped their third game in a row.

R.A. Dickey was ok in his first start of the season, going the first 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and allowing 3 runs. Dickey walked 4 hitters - which is sure to draw the ire of manager Ron Gardenhire (the Skip will have to learn to accept walks from the knuckler). Still, Dickey gave the Twins exactly what they needed in the absence of regular starter Scott Baker (see Baker's line in a rehab start in Ft. Myers tonight below) in picking up the win.

Brian Duensing's major league debut followed Dickey's start, and he threw up a zero in the sixth, allowed Quentin's 2-run shot in the 7th, and then retired the Sox 1-2-3 in the 8th. Philip Humber worked a scoreless 9th for the Twins.

The Twins tagged Chicago starter Jose Contreras for 7 hits and 4 runs, and completely dominated the bullpen during the final four frames. Off relievers Clayton Richard, Mike MacDougal, and D.J. Carrasco, the Twins collected 8 hits, 4 walks, and 8 runs. MacDougal threw 8 pitches in his outing....all balls.

Game two of the series is Saturday afternoon and features Francisco Liriano for the Twins against Bartolo Colon. The 2005 Cy Young Award winner is looking to return to his form after three injury-plagued seasons. One aspect to watch is that the Twins attacked the White Sox' bullpen in Friday's game, which puts a lot of pressure on Colon to go 6 innings or more. Stay tuned...

Elsewhere in the AL Central:
  • Detroit 15, Texas 2 - Miguel Cabrera hit his 3rd home run and plated 6 Tigers as Detroit feasted on Texas pitching in their home opener. Cabrera had 3 hits, and Placido Polanco, Magglio Ordonez, Jeff Larish, and Gerald Laird each had 2 apiece. Armando Galarraga went 7 solid innings for the Tigers, allowing 5 hits and only one run. Kris Benson was bombed in his first MLB appearance since 2006, going 5 innings and giving up 10 hits and 8 runs.
  • Toronto 13, Cleveland 7 - The Blue Jays broke a 7-7 game wide-open with a 6-run 8th inning to spoil the Indians' home opener. The game endured a significant rain delay, and the Indians' slow start continued through game #4. Starter Scott Lewis was adequate in his first start of the season, scattering 7 hits and 4 runs in 4.1 innings. Adequate is a relative term, as the Indians had a string of three-consecutive awful starts - Lewis's was by far the best. Armando Rios and Adam Lind each knocked in 4 runs for the Jays, while Lind and Marco Scutaro went deep. For Cleveland, Travis Hafner, Shin-Soo Choo, and Victor Martinez each homered for the 0-4 Indians.
  • NY Yankees 4, Kansas City 1 - The Yankees won the debut of the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (I'll review all five AL Central stadiums in a later entry, but let's just say I don't particularly like this renovation yet) behind the solid pitching of Andy Pettite. The veteran went 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on just 3 hits. Mariano Rivera picked up his first save. The Royals' offense had no answer for Pettite, and starting pitcher Sidney Ponson (ouch) went the first 6 innings, giving up all 4 NY runs.

Around the Twins' Minor Leagues:

  • AAA - Rochester 9, Syracuse 2 - The Red Wings evened their record at 1-1 on the heels of a 10-hit, 9-run offensive attack. Jason Pridie and Luke Hughes had 2 RBI apiece, and David Winfree, Dustin Martin, and Trevor Plouffe all had 2 hits. Kevin Mulvey started and went the first four, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs. Armando Gabino and Jose Mijares combined for 5 shutout innings out of the bullpen.
  • AA - New Hampshire 5, New Britain 0 - The Rock Cats collected 9 hits but could not plate any runs in a loss to New Hampshire. Steve Tolleson was 3-4. Ryan Mullins started and took the loss, working 4.1 innings and allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. New Britain is now 0-3, having lost all three to New Hampshire.
  • High A - Ft. Myers 7, Charlotte 1 - A rehabbing Scott Baker started for the Miracle and worked 7 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 run to pick up the win. Carlos Gutierrez worked two scoreless innings to finish up. At the plate, Steve Singleton homered and tripled, knocking in 3 runs. Daniel Berg was 2-3 with 2 RBI. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with a walk and scored 3 runs. The Miracle stands 2-0 after the victory.
  • Low A - Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 3 - Cedar Rapids overcame 4 errors and beat the Snappers. Ramon Santana went 3-5, and Evan Bigley and Ozzie Lewis each went 2-4. On the other side, DH Hank Sanchez struck out all four times he came to the plate. Dan Osterbrock started for the Snappers and was ok through 4.1 innings, scattering 6 hits and allowing 3 runs. The loss drops Beloit to 0-2.
Today's musical selection pays homage to one of the greatest "Yacht Rock" duos of all time, Steely Dan. Also, if you like Steely, check out, which is a site for a duo with similar styles (and their publicist is a DP reader)!

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