2 Total Updates since May 18, 2011
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Minnesota Twins generated their highest offensive output of the season on Thursday afternoon at the Overstock.com Coliseum, as they put together sixteen hits in a 11-1 thumping of the Oakland Athletics.
The Twins got off to an early lead in this one, getting single runs in each of the first two innings. A single to right by Jason Kubel scored Denard Span in the first inning, and the Twins got a solo home run from Rene Rivera. . .yes, that Rene Rivera. . .to give themselves an early 2-0 lead. They extended that lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth, as Kubel singled with one out, and Justin Morneau ripped a home run into the right field stands, just his second long ball of the season.
After Mark Ellis grounded into a fielder's choice in the bottom of the seventh to bring home a run and allow Oakland to cut the deficit to 4-1, the Twins blew it open in the top of the eighth with six runs. Morneau got the inning going with a double, and moved to third on a wild pitch before coming home on Michael Cuddyer's single. Cuddyer came home to score on a double by Danny Valencia, and after Delmon Young fouled out, Rivera singled to put runners on the corners. Valencia scored when Alexi Casilla grounded into what looked like a double play, but he beat the throw to first to keep the inning alive. The Twins made Oakland pay for not turning the double play, as Denard Span walked, and Trevor Plouffe followed that up with a three-run homer to left field to make the score 10-1 in favor of the Twins.
The Twins added one more run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Young, providing the final margin of victory.
This was easily the Twins' most impressive offensive performance of 2011. The six runs they scored in the top of the eighth is a greater total than they have scored in 39 of their 42 games this season, and the sixteen hits are a season high. Trevor Plouffe drove in three runs for the second consecutive game, Morneau and Cuddyer each had three hits, and of the starters, only Denard Span did not drive in a run.
Lost in this was a very good pitching performance by Nick Blackburn, who went seven innings and allowed just five hits and a run on the fielder's choice in the seventh. Phil Dumatrait and Anthony Swarzak each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Blackburn got the victory, bringing his record on the year to 3-4.
For the Athletics, Tyson Ross would up taking the loss in this one, despite only facing one batter. Denard Span got a lead-off single against Ross, who was then lifted in favor of David Purcey because Ross had strained his left oblique muscle. However, since Span was his responsibility and he came around to score, Ross took the loss to fall to 3-3 on the season.
The Twins' third consecutive victory matches their longest winning streak of the year, a mark they've hit on two other occasions.
Minnesota begins interleague play tomorrow, as they head to the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. First pitch from Chase Field on Friday night is scheduled for 8:40 PM Central time. Brian Duensing (2-3, 4.61 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins, and righty Ian Kennedy (4-1, 3.05 ERA) will get the ball for Arizona.
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Minnesota Twins got their second consecutive win on Wednesday night, as they went ten innings to defeat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 at the Overstock.com Coliseum. The victory is the second straight for the team after snapping their nine-game losing streak on Tuesday night in Seattle.
The Twins got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Justin Morneau brought Jason Kubel home with a two-out single to center. The Athletics struck back in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Carl Pavano quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning, but Ryan Sweeney reached on an infield single, and a throwing error by Trevor Plouffe on Mark Ellis' ground ball gave the Athletics runners on second and third when the inning should have been over. Kevin Kouzmanoff made the Twins pay for Plouffe's error, singling to left to bring home both Sweeney and Ellis.
The Twins got those two runs back in the top of the third, however, as Alexi Casilla singled to center to lead off the inning, and Denard Span followed with another single, taking second on the throw in from the outfield. Plouffe then came to the plate and singled to center to bring both Casilla and Span around, and the Twins took the lead back, 3-2. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth, when Daric Barton led off the inning with a double and scored on Hideki Matsui's single.
The score remained that way through regulation, but not without some excitement. After Glen Perkins pitched 1.1 innings in relief of Pavano, Joe Nathan entered the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Nathan immediately gave up a double to Kurt Suzuki, and the team eventually walked Sweeney to get to Mark Ellis. Nathan got behind Ellis 3-0, but came all the way back to strike Ellis out looking with a nasty curveball. Nathan then got pinch-hitter Conor Jackson to ground into a fielder's choice, and the inning came to an end.
The Twins started the top of the tenth by having Delmon Young pinch-hit for Drew Butera, and Young came through with a solid single to right center. Alexi Casilla came up and attempted to sacrifice Young to second base, but Barton fielded the ball and, in an attempt to turn the double play, threw the ball into center field, allowing Young to advance to third while Casilla took second. After Denard Span grounded out to Barton at first, Plouffe came up and lifted a fly ball to right field deep enough for Young to score, and the Twins took the lead 4-3. That's how it ended, as Matt Capps came in and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the tenth for the save.
Nathan was credited with the victory for Minnesota, his first of the year to even his record at 1-1. Capps' save was his seventh of the season. Former Twin Brian Fuentes took the loss, as he was the Oakland pitcher in the tenth inning when the Twins took the lead. His record on the season is now 1-4.
Same two teams will get together on Thursday afternoon, with first pitch from Oakland scheduled for 2:35 PM Central time. The Twins will send right-hander Nick Blackburn (2-4, 3.70 ERA) to the mound, and the Athletics will counter with righty Tyson Ross (3-2, 2.50 ERA).
about 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Fresh off of their first win in a week and a half, the Minnesota Twins head into Oakland on this Wednesday evening to take on the Athletics, who are sporting one of the league's hottest lineups.
Over the course of their last four games, the Athletics are hitting .315 as a team. That includes a 14-0 bloodletting against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, a victory that gave them a share of the American League West lead.
Facing a lineup this hot, and showing a complete inability to generate any real offense of their own, the Twins could use an ace-like performance from tonight's starting pitcher, Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.89 ERA). Pavano has been pretty bad for most of this year, but comes into Wednesday's game looking for career victory number 100. He wasn't bad in his last start, as he pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against Toronto on Friday in a game the Twins ultimately lost 2-0, and the Twins could use a similar performance tonight.
The Athletics will send Brandon McCarthy (1-4, 3.34 ERA) to the mound. McCarthy's only victory of the season came against the Twins, as he allowed two runs and nine hits over 7.1 innings in a 5-3 Oakland victory on April 10, but he's 0-4 with an ERA of 3.89 in his last five outings.
Delmon Young will be on the bench again this evening for the Twins, with Ben Revere replacing him in left field. Young has been awful since he came back off of the disabled list, and hasn't shown any hustle in the field, so it's understandable why Ron Gardenhire has him on the pine.
Here are the lineups for tonight's game. . .first for the visiting Twins.
Denard Span, center field
Trevor Plouffe, shortstop
Jason Kubel, designated hitter
Justin Morneau, first base
Michael Cuddyer, right field
Danny Valencia, third base
Ben Revere, left field
Drew Butera, catcher
Alexi Casilla, second base
And for the Oakland Athletics.
David DeJesus, right field
Daric Barton, first base
Josh Willingham, left field
Hideki Matsui, designated hitter
Kurt Suzuki, catcher
Ryan Sweeney, center field
Mark Ellis, second base
Kevin Kouzmanoff, third base
Cliff Pennington, shortstop
First pitch for this one is scheduled for 9:05 PM Central time. Be sure to hit the Game Thread at Twinkie Town for in-game discussion, and come back here for the recap.