June 6, 2007

Game 58: L.A. Angels

The Twins fell behind early, but they were able to come back with six runs between the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead. Kevin Slowey pitched pretty well, and we saw about three different streaks come to an end in the 8-5 victory.

Kevin Slowey looked very good in his debut against the Oakland A’s early in the road trip, but wasn’t able to get the win. Today, he looked a little worse, but this time was able to pick up his first Major League victory. His final line was 5 innings, 10 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) and 2 strikeouts. His line doesn’t tell the whole story though. He only used 83 pitches before exiting, and he also didn’t walk any batters. I think it was a pretty decent start given the fact that he was facing arguably the best offense in the league.

The bullpen picked up the final four innings, and did a very nice job. Matt Guerrier came in first and pitched 1.2 innings of work allowing no hits or runs. The Twins brought left-hander Carmen Cali in with two outs in the seventh to face the lefty, and he walked one batter and then finished off the inning. The eighth inning went to Pat Neshek, and he struck out two hitters and didn’t allow a hit or run. Joe Nathan came in for the ninth inning and picked up his thirteenth save of the season with a one-two-three inning.

The offense got off to a slow start, but when Jeff Cirillo singled in the fourth inning, it seemed to spark the offense. The next batter Michael Cuddyer hit a homerun, his eighth of the year to bring the Twins within two runs. Then, the next inning, the Twins scored four more runs, three off of Nick Punto’s first homerun of the season. Leading 6-5 in the top of the ninth inning, the Twins added two insurance runs, one off of Jason Bartlett’s first homerun of the season.

For more stats from this game, make sure to check out the Box Score.

Streaks Ended:
As I mentioned above, three streaks came to and end today. Here is the list:

1) The losing streak ended at four games. The Twins won the first game of the road trip, and then lost their next four before today’s win.

2) Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto each hit homeruns, adding homeruns at each of their positions.
3) Finally, the bad one. Luis Castillo’s errorless streak ended at 143 games when he dropped Bartlett’s throw for his first error of the season.

Twins Notes:
- Joe Mauer is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow after a successful rehab stint at Fort Myers. When he returns, he will indeed hit at number two.

- When Mauer comes back, I expect Jason Miller to be sent down because Cali is the main lefty in the pen. However, that may not happen, and the Twins may send out L-Rod. Whatever they do, I'll post it here when announced.

- With the win today, the Twins got back to .500 on the season with a record of 29-29. They will now head home for a nine game homestand.

- Finally, I have two stories to get up, but I don’t want to post them all at once, so I’m going to put one up probably later tonight, and the other tomorrow morning.