Saturday, May 2, 2009

Game #23 - He's Back!

AP Photo/Jim Mone
Joe Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup on Friday night, and boy, are we happy to see him! After treading water for the first 22 games of the season, the catcher returned with a bang, smashing a home run in his first at-bat and a double in his second to lead the Twins to a 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals.

The team activated Mauer from the DL Friday and send pitcher Juan Morillo outright to Rochester. Morillo cleared waivers and will join the team. In three appearances with the Twins, Morillo did not record a decision and had a 22.50 ERA. The Twins have 3 catchers on the roster for now, as Jesse Crain is expected to be activated from the DL by Monday, and Jose Morales could be sent to AAA or Mike Redmond could head to the DL.

Mauer and Justin Morneau each went 2-3 in the game and each smashed a home run. Morneau had 3 RBI in the game.

Kevin Slowey was shaky, but picked up his 4th win of the season. In 5 innings, Slowey allowed 5 runs on 8 hits. Matt Guerrier threw two solid scoreless innings, and Jose Mijares struck out the side in the 8th. Joe Nathan finished up for his 4th save.

The Twins batter Mauer 3rd in the lineup Friday, and look for that to continue. Manager Ron Gardenhire has shown a preference toward hitting Mauer #3. With Alexi Casilla struggling mightily at the plate, one thought would be to have Mauer hit 2nd and drop Casilla down. That does not appear to be the case. Anyway, it's good to have Mauer, and his career .317/.399/.457 line back in the order every day.

In other Twins' news, Joe Crede was away from the team Friday following the birth of his son a bit premature. He'll be away from the team for a few days. Congratulations to the Crede family!

Elsewhere in the AL Central:

  • Cleveland 6, Detroit 5 - The Tribe sent the Tigers to their third-straight loss. David Dellucci went 4-5 in his first action of the season, and Jhonny Peralta hit his first homer of the year. Carl Pavano picked up the win with 7.1 innings of solid work. Kerry Wood finished up for his 5th save.
  • Chicago White Sox 4, Texas 3 - Jim Thome's 3 RBI paced the Whities. Mark Buehrle moved to 4-0 on the season with 6 solid innings. Bobby Jenks worked the 9th for his 6th save.

Around the Minors:

  • AAA - Rochester was rained-out at Indianapolis's beautiful Victory Field.
  • AA - New Britain 9, Trenton 7 - It was a good day all around for New Britain's offense, as Whit Robbins had 4 hits, Wilson Ramos and Brian Dinkelman each had 3 hits, and Brandon Roberts and Danny Valencia had 2 apiece. Dinkelman had 4 RBI in the contest. Matt Fox went the first 5.1 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs. The Rock Cats improve to 9-11 with the win.
  • High A - Charlotte 5, Ft. Myers 2 - Chris Parmelee and Rene Leveret had 2 hits apiece in a losing cause. Delois Guerra started and walked the tightrope for 5.1 innings, allowing 3 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs. Blair Erickson and Alex Burnett could not hold the lead in relief, however, and the Miracle dropped to 12-9.
  • Low A - Beloit is 7-12 on the season, and was tied 3-3 with Dayton in the 12th.

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