It don't come easy.
It should have been an easy win. The Twins had all kinds of chances. In the first three innings, though, they left 3.425* runners on base, so we still had a scoreless tie. In the top of the fourth, Eddie Rosario tried to make a leaping catch on a fly ball at the fence, missed, and allowed ex-Twin Steve Pearce to get a leadoff triple. He scored on a double play. It was only one run, but when the Twins left another 1.713* runners on in the next couple of innings, it looked like that one run might be enough.
These numbers are approximate.
In the sixth, though, Brian Dozier told the Orioles to strand this, hitting a two-run homer. Joe Mauer followed with a solo shot to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. In the seventh, Eric Fryer showed why he clearly should be in Minnesota ahead of Chris Herrmann by delivering a two-run double that made it 5-1.
It seemed like the Twins would cruise to a victory, but Casey Fien gave up a pair of solo homers in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-3. Solo homers may not hurt you, but they do make you nervous. Fortunately, he got out of the inning, Glen Perkins pitched a quick and efficient ninth, and the victory was preserved.
Tommy Milone pitched well again, giving up one run on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. I was pleased that in the seventh, with men on first and second and two out, Molitor elected to leave Milone in the game rather than go to the bullpen. Molitor seems to have a fairly good feel for when to take a pitcher out of the game, although we're still dealing with a sample size of just over half a season. It worked, as Caleb Joseph hit the ball hard, but it was just an out.
Miguel Sano continued to hit, going 1-for-2 with two walks and the one out he had was hard-hit. The number of walks he's taken so far seems impressive.
Provus and Atteberry kept talking about how hot Aaron Hicks has been since coming back. He had two hits today (one an infield single), but that just makes him 5-for-19. He has hit a couple of home runs. I'd love to see Hicks make it--an outfield with Hicks and Buxton would be so good that it really wouldn't matter who the third outfielder was or even if there was one--but right now the claim that he's "hot" or that anything has really changed is more hope than reality. It looks like he's got the job for at least a few weeks, though, so maybe he can get it going.
So now the lads host Detroit. The Tigers have given us fits this year, but it's a new day. The past is past. What was is was and what is is is. The Twins send Mike Pelfrey to the mound, who seems to pitch well until all of a sudden he doesn't, against David Price, who is able to pitch poorly but rarely does so. No matter. We've started our season-ending eighty-game winning streak! We're still on track for 123-39!