The Twins won with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th last night, one from Michael Cuddyer and one from a Texas error. Joe Mauer also had a homer, his first one in the Metrodome this season, and just his 6th overall (hey that’s as many as Justin Morneau has in the second half this year).
Kevin Slowey pitched 6 strong innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run while striking out 7 and walking none. He didn’t get the win because Juan Rincon gave up 2 runs (1 earned) in the very next inning. Joe Nathan ended up with his 4th win on the year after allowing a run in the top of the 9th.
Torii Hunter stole two bases, one of them old-fashioned paying attention style. After hitting a single and a couple throw-overs to first, he noticed the 2B and SS wandering away from second base, looking at the outfield. So he ran. And he ran fast, sliding in safely. Unfortunately Morneau struck out on the very next pitch, but it was still an exciting play.
Speaking of Justin, he won’t be participating in the HR Derby anymore. He thinks his home run dropoff in the second half is due in part to taking so many swings. I really don’t know what to think.
Also, it appears that Nick Punto has the starting 2B job going into next spring. It’s rather obvious that Gardenhire likes Punto a lot, because after his career year last year and fall back down to earth this year, he’s still getting a lot of playing time, mostly for his defense. I like him as a utility guy because he can play everywhere and we’ve all seen his awesome defensive plays, but not being able to lay down a bunt when you’re the smallest, scrappiest guy on the team doesn’t make sense, does it?