After having leads of 5 and 6 runs, the Tigers made it a little more interesting with a run in the 5th (solo homer), 2 runs in the 6th (two-run homer), and a run in the 8th (another solo shot). Pitcher Kevin Slowey gave up those first two, and Pat Neshek gave up the last one. Slowey went 6 innings, gave up 9 hits, allowed 4 earned runs, walked 1 and struck out 2. Dennys Reyes came in and threw a lot of strikes, getting 2 outs and striking out 1 while allowing a single. Neshek threw an inning and a third, gave up the one hit, and struck out 2. Joe Nathan needed just 10 pitches to record his 16th save of the season. He also struck out 1.
Basically, for the offense, the Twins kept with their perceived style of play by capitalizing on errors made by the other team. Detroit’s 3B fielded a routine grounder but his throw was wild and it allowed Jason Bartlett to reach, instead of recording the second out in the inning. As it turns out, it probably would not have mattered, because after a Joe Mauer walk, Michael Cuddyer blasted his 9th homer of the year. Lew Ford would add his second home run of the year just an inning later. Ford was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI in the game.
The team hit for the cycle with Luis Castillo, Bartlett, and Ford each getting a double, Cuddyer hitting a triple, and Cuddyer with the homer too. 3 different Twins had singles. Bartlett also added a stolen base, he’s now 16-for-16 on the season. He seemed to be in a slump but he now has an 11-game hitting streak going. In that stretch he’s batting .349 with 7 RBI and 10 runs scored, and also 5 walks. Although Gardy wanted to have Mauer batting in the number two spot, it seems like’s reverted to old ways pretty quickly by putting Bartlett back in there. As long as he keeps playing decently, it’s a good decision, but if he starts hitting like Nick Punto, it needs to be changed because he’s taking valuable at-bats away from our core hitters.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:05 and is a highlighted game being shown on (I think) ESPN. Scott Baker has done well in his previous primetime starts, so hopefully he’ll keep that going and give us a shot at sweeping division foes.