Glen Perkins didn’t have a Quality Start, allowing four runs through six innings, but he settled into a nice groove after allowing three runs in the first two innings. He finished with seven hits allowed, the aforementioned four runs, two walks, four strikeouts and a solo homer. Most importantly, he stayed in the game long enough to pick up his 8th win of the year.
It’s ironic that the White Sox had five extra-base hits, compared to the Twins’ one. A total of four combined runs scored on Chicago’s three doubles and two homers; Justin Morneau, who had the lone extra-base hit for the Twins, drove in three runs alone on his bases-loaded double (which came with two outs, by the way. In my opinion, this only adds to his already strong contention for another MVP award.)
It was Justin’s only hit of the game, but man it came in a great spot. Heading into the 5th inning and down by four, the team needed to step up, and quickly. So Morneau put the team ahead 5-4 with his line drive over the head of right fielder Jermaine Dye.
Carlos Gomez, starting his first game since his back injury, went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI single in that five-run 5th inning. His night included a bunt single to start off the 7th inning. Denard Span sacrificed him to second and Joe Mauer would later drive him in with a single.
The importance of Gomez scoring in the 7th wouldn’t be seen until two outs had been recorded in the 9th inning, with Joe Nathan on the mound. A 3-2 pitch he sent to Nick Swisher was promptly launched near the upper deck in right field, bringing the Sox within one. He retired the next batter on just one pitch though, recording his 29th save in 31 chances.
As great as it is that the Twins won, there was some bad news that came out after the game. Alexi Casilla had sat out because of a sore thumb. Somehow his injury had changed during the game, going from sore to a “torn ligament” in his thumb, requiring a stint on the DL. The injury is similar to the one that Matt Tolbert suffered in May, and Matt has yet to see the field with the team (I don’t think he’s even close to coming back.) The best-case scenario would have Casilla back on the 15th day, but I’m afraid that’s not very realistic. Adam Everett was placed on waivers yesterday but when Casilla’s injury surfaced, Everett was called and told he was needed with the team still. That shows an uncomfortableness with playing a combination of Nick Punto/Brendan Harris between shortstop and second base, with Brian Buscher and Mike Lamb rotating at third.
Losing Casilla hurts immensely. He was a spark in the 2-hole, taking a lot of pitches and getting on base at a good clip. He did have a few errors but even so, I feel that his defense was above-average and he made a few very nice plays that made people say “wow!”
This also pushes the issue of possibly making a trade before tomorrow’s 3 PM deadline. I don’t even want to get into possible options at 2B because I don’t think the Twins will make any deal, at all. They usually never do because they prefer promoting from within the organization. Not that there is anybody “waiting in the wings” in AAA, other than Francisco Liriano, but rumor has it his glove and range are too subpar to play second (I try and fail mightily at some humor.)
Anyway, Livan Hernandez (8-1 at the Metrodome) pitches tonight and will try to ensure the Twins don’t lose any ground against the rival Sox. The game starts at 7:10, just like every other game in the series.