Minnesota scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning without hitting anything hard. The inning featured some classic Twins' manufacturing of runs, complete wild pitches, miscommunication in the outfield, and dribblers up the middle.
Nick Blackburn was solid in his start. He scattered 8 hits over 7 innings, surrendering 2 runs. The right-hander has now picked up wins in his last 2 starts, going 7 innings each time, and surrendering a total of 3 runs to fine hitting teams Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Craig Breslow pitched a solid 8th inning, and Luis Ayala allowed a single run in the 9th.
At the plate, the Twins' top 3 hitters in the lineup each had 3 hits - Denard Span, Brendan Harris, and Justin Morneau. Span also added a triple, adding to his impressive first month of the season.
Joe Mauer will return to the Twins' lineup on Friday. We'll see if the team options Jose Morales to Rochester, despite the fact he has started 7 of the last 9 games and is hitting .349 on the season, or put Mike Redmond on the DL.
The Kansas City Royals come to town on Friday for a 3-game set. Pitching match-ups feature:
- Friday, 7:10pm - Kevin Slowey (3-0) vs. Sidney Ponson (0-3)
- Saturday, 6:10pm - Glen Perkins (1-2) vs. Brian Bannister (2-0)
- Sunday, 1:10pm - Gil Meche (1-2) vs. Scott Baker (0-3)
Around the AL Central:
- Chicago White Sox 6, Seattle 3 - The Whities scored 5 runs in the 6th-8th innings, and Seattle had no answer. Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye hit back-to-back homers in the 7th inning, and A.J. Pierzynski also went deep. Gavin Floyd started and went the first 6, but Matt Thornton picked up the win in relief. Bobby Jenks finished for his 5th save, and the Sox improved to 11-10.
- NY Yankees 8, Detroit 6 - The Yanks took the series from the Tigers on the heels of 2 homers from Nick Swisher. Starter Rick Porcello was knocked around in 3.2 innings, surrendering 6 runs on 6 hits. The Tigers made it interesting in the 9th, scoring 5 runs including Curtis Granderson's 3-run homer off Mariano Rivera. However, the great closer got the final out and saved it for Joba Chamberlain. The Tigers are now 11-10.
- Boston 6, Cleveland 5 - Jonathan Van Avery's first major league homer in the top of the 10th against Jensen Lewis gave the Red Sox the victory. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona finally had an effective start, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs over 6-2 innings. Mark DeRosa and Kelly Shoppach hit home runs for the Indians, who fell to 8-14 on the season.
- Kansas City 11, Toronto 3 - Zack Greinke became the first pitcher to win 5 games this season, but did allow an earned run this time. In fact, he allowed 2 earned runs over 7 innings, striking out 8 on the season. In his incredible start to the season, Greinke is allowing 11.0 strikeouts per 9 innings, and only 6 hits in that same span. Billy Butler had 4 hits, including 2 homers, and 4 RBI for KC. Mark Teahen also went deep. The Royals are also 11-10.
Around the Minors:
- AAA - Rochester 1, Buffalo 0 - Kevin Mulvey, Mike Gosling, Bobby Keppel, and Sean Henn combined on a 7-hit shutout of the Bisons. Dustin Martin batted in Jason Pridie for the Red Wings' only run in the bottom of the 7th inning. Pridie had 2 hits in the game. Rochester is now 7-10.
- AA - New Hampshire 5, New Britain 0 - The Cats were shut out on 5 hits (all singles) by New Hampshire. Ryan Mullins started and lost for NB, going just 4.2 innings and giving up 8 hits and 4 runs. Zach Ward pitched the next 2.1, giving up 3 hits and a run. The Rock Cats are now 7-11 with the loss.
- High A - Ft. Myers 5, Palm Beach 1 - Ben Revere and Mark Dolenc each had 3 hits, pacing the Miracle. Mike McCardell was good through 7 innings (5 hits and 1 run), and Santos Arias finished up with 2 scoreless innings. Ft. Myers improves to 12-7 with the win.
- Low A - Dayton 2, Beloit 1 - The Snappers managed just 2 hits in a loss to Dayton. Evan Bigley provided the team's only extra-base hit with a double. Brad Tippett went the first 5.1 innings, allowing only 3 hits and a run. Henry Reyes took the loss, giving up 5 hits and a run in his 2.2 innings. Danny Rondon finished up with a scoreless 9th inning. Beloit is 6-12 with the loss.
When you're done reading this entry, check out my latest on Examiner on Bemidji State's application to the WCHA.