Minnesota Twins fans have become accustomed to their team not scoring very many runs at times this season. What they're not used to is a small number being good enough to get the victory. But, when you get a pitching performance like the one Scott Baker put on at Target Field on Saturday night against the San Diego Padres, you don't need a lot of scoring.
Baker (5-4, 3.24 ERA) threw eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out ten Padres as the Twins defeated San Diego by a score of 1-0. The victory was the sixth in a row for the Twins, and their thirteenth in their last fifteen ball games.
Things got off to a bit of a rocky start for Baker, as Padres' right fielder Chris Denorfia led off the game with a triple. However, Baker responded by striking out Jason Bartlett and Chase Headley before getting Ryan Ludwick to fly out to end the inning. Baker proceeded to strike out the side in the top of the second, and it became clear that he was on his game.
All of the scoring in this one occurred in the bottom of the second, when Danny Valencia launched his second home run in as many nights to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. The home run came off of Padres' starter Tim Stauffer (2-5, 3.13 ERA), who entered the game having pitched 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings for San Diego.
Matt Capps came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Twins, and he retired the Padres in order to get his eleventh save of the season.
The Twins will go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Target Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PM Central time. The Padres will send right-hander Dustin Moseley (2-6, 3.16 ERA) to the hill, while the Twins will hand the ball to left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.67 ERA).