In the 4-1 win, Scott Baker injured his groin and could only pitch 3 innings. He was doing incredibly well up to that point, having allowed just 1 hit while throwing 43 pitches. Brian Bass came in and pitched 4 scoreless innings to get his first ML win. It’s ironic that I was at his first game ever (second game of the season) and also at his first win. I wonder if he’ll pay me to start showing up regularly. The game was kind of a close one until Craig Monroe jacked his second homer of the year in the 7th inning, a two-run shot against his former team to give the Twins a 4-0 lead. Pat Neshek gave up a solo homer and could only record two outs before Jesse Crain came in and ended the inning with a fly ball out. Joe Nathan got to pitch, which was the only positive of Neshek’s homer allowed, and recorded his 10th save in as many tries. He did walk one but struck out 2. Baker is getting an MRI today and we’ll know if he needs time on the DL or not. Regardless, it’s been announced that Kevin Slowey will be done rehabbing and will start for us on Thursday against the White Sox.
Game 3 was much more interesting. Boof Bonser gave up 6 hits in the first inning alone, and mix that with a throwing error by Joe Mauer and a strikeout that went between Mauer’s legs and to the backstop and all of a sudden Bonser’s pitch count was at 45 and 6 runs were in, and it was just the first inning. He ended up striking out the side in the first and Bert, the ever-positive announcer, made sure to mention it when all was said and done. What’s more crazy is that he ended up pitching 6 innings, allowing just 2 hits after the first inning. In fact, he needed just 54 pitches to get from the 2nd inning to the end of the 6th. He could’ve pitched 10 or 11 solid innings with that great ratio for pitches/inning. He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 5 and most importantly didn’t get hung with an L.
Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers had a no-hitter going into the fourth inning before Mauer was able to hit the ball sharply to right and, with some hustle, slid safely into second for his 8th double of the year. Mauer would come up big in the 7th with a 2-run single, giving the Twins a 7-6 lead that would hold for the rest of the game. The lineup basically chipped away at the Tigers lead with everyone except Michael Cuddyer collecting a hit. Nick Punto got his first double of the year, a linedrive into right field that scored Delmon Young and Monroe. Matt Tolbert, playing 3B for the first time this year, got his 4th double, and Brendan Harris got his 6th two-bagger of the year. The key thing is that 5 of the team’s 7 runs scored with 2 outs in the inning.
Scott Ullger is now 3-0 as a manager. Hmm, maybe he knows something Ron Gardenhire doesn’t. After a 5-0 homestand, the team has an off day today and then travels to Chicago for a 3-game series before coming home again.