A fella could get used to this.
The Twins completed the sweep of the Red Sox yesterday, their first sweep of the Red Sox since 2006 according to Kris Atteberry. They've now won five in a row and have moved into a tie for first place. And I actually got to listen to most of the game!
Phil Hughes had what for this year has been a pretty Hughesian start: not great, but not bad. 6.2 innings, four runs, six hits, no walks, three strikeouts. He actually pitched quite well to all batters not named Dustin Pedroia. Unfortunately, the Red Sox have a batter by that name, and he hit a pair of two-run homers, keeping his team in the game.
The ball seemed to be carrying pretty well yesterday, as the Twins put a couple of balls over the fencing in the outfield, too. Aaron Hicks hit a two-run homer and Eddie Rosario hit a solo shot, both giving the Twins needed insurance runs. The biggest hit of the game, though, might have been a little fair flare by Torii Hunter with the bases loaded in the third inning that drove in two runs and tied the score at 2-2. Joe Mauer followed with an RBI single that put the Twins in the lead for good.
None of us is particularly confident in the relief pitchers, apart from Glen Perkins, but when the Twins get a lead they seem to get the job done. Paul Molitor is mixing and matching guys in a way that would make Tony LaRussa proud, but it seems to be working. He did not use Blaine Boyer for the eighth yesterday, instead going with Ryan Pressly for two outs, using Aaron Thompson for one batter, and then going to Michael Tonkin for the last two, including allowing Tonkin to face David Ortiz. I have to give Molitor credit for that. Had Ortiz hit a three-run homer everyone, including me, would've said he should've brought Perkins in for another four-out save. But Molitor stuck with Tonkin and he got Ortiz to ground out. Perkins came in for a clean ninth and the victory, and the tie for first place, were ours.
Neither the Twins nor Kansas City plays today, so the tie for first will remain for at least another day. Friday the Twins open a three-game series with Toronto, a team that has given them trouble in recent years. Of course, in recent years nearly every team has given the Twins trouble, and this year is not shaping up to be like recent years. May hasn't been blowing people away (although he did have nine strikeouts last time), but he's been getting the job done more often than not. The Blue Jays will counter with Mark Buehrle, who is having a very unBuehrle like season, sporting a 5.13 ERA. He hasn't been blowing people away, either, but he has pitched better in his last four outings. The Twins are now five games into their season-ending one hundred twenty-one-game winning streak! We're still on track for 144-18!