Between a first-inning homer by Alexi Casilla, four home runs allowed by Twins starter Nick Blackburn, and Brian Buscher‘s continued success at the plate, there were enough turns in this game to hold its own against a season of the Sopranos.
After jumping out to that 1-0 early lead, Blackburn allowed back-to-back homers in the second. A run in the third and fourth innings put the Twins up 3-2, but Blackburn allowed two 2-run longballs in the next inning to put the team in a 6-3 hole.
Have no fear, the surging Twins are here. A sac fly by Jason Kubel and RBI single by Delmon Young had the team within one.
Michael Cuddyer was thrown out at the plate in the 7th inning in what seemed to be a boneheaded play on the bases. With runners on first and second, 2 outs, and without a hit in the game, Buscher poked a single to left field that scored Kubel and tied the game.
An unlikely hero stepped up with two outs in the bottom of the 8th: Joe Mauer. He clunked his third home run of the year to straightaway center field, even showing a little emotion with a fist pump as he rounded first.
Joe Nathan, although scaring me a bit by giving up two singles, didn’t allow any runs for his 22nd save of the year.
Blackburn lasted just 4 and 2/3 innings, allowing 9 hits, 6 runs, no walks and 5 strikeouts. Brian Bass did a great job, allowing just one single in 2 and 1/3 innings of work. Matt Guerrier picked up his 4th win of the season.
Casilla was 2-for-2 before leaving the game with a strained middle finger. Nick Punto replaced him but Casilla is expected to be back before the end of this series.
Mauer and Kubel each led the team with 2 runs scored while Delmon had 3 singles and didn’t strand any runners on base. Punto was the only Twin to not collect a hit.
Livan Hernandez pitches tonight in a 6:10-start game. The Brew Crew were 8-2 in their last 10 games heading into last night, and they have just one less win than the Twins with the same amount of losses. This leads me to believe that they’re still a force to reckon with, and the team’s current 10-game winning streak may be in serious jeopardy tonight.