ATLANTA 5, MINNESOTA 1 IN ATLANTA
Date: Monday, May 20.
Batting stars: Justin Morneau was 2-for-4. Josh Willingham was 1-for-3 with a home run, his sixth.
Pitching stars: Ryan Pressley pitched two shutout innings, giving up a walk and striking out one. Caleb Thielbar struck out three in two shutout innings, giving up one hit.
Opposition stars: Julio Teheran pitched 8.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits and a walk and striking out four. Juan Francisco was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Justin Upton was 2-for-4. Dan Uggla was 1-for-4 with a three-run homer, his eighth.
The game: With one out in the bottom of the first, the Braves got consecutive singles from Jason Heyward, Upton, and Freddie Freeman to go ahead 1-0. Gerald Laird flied out, but Uggla hit a three-run homer to put Atlanta up 4-0.
The game was basically over at that point, but of course they played it out. The Twins put two on with one out in the fourth but did not score. In the fifth, Francisco doubled and Melvin Upton walked. A bunt moved them to second and third and Andrelton Simmons hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0 Braves.
The Twins got on the board in the ninth when Willingham hit a home run. They tried to get back into it, getting one-out singles from Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee, but a pair of fly balls ended the game.
WP: Teheran (3-1). LP: Kevin Correia (4-4). S: Cody Gearrin.
Notes: The Twins used pretty much their standard lineup, without a DH because they were in Atlanta. Wilkin Ramirez pinch-hit for Correia in the fifth. Eduardo Escobar went into the game at shorstop in the seventh, replacing Pedro Florimon as part of a double switch. Ryan Doumit pinch-hit for Thielbar in the ninth. Oswaldo Arcia pinch-hit for Aaron Hicks in the ninth.
Joe Mauer was batting .333. He would finish at .324. Justin Morneau was batting .304. He would finish at .259. He would also finish in Pittsburgh, as he was traded at the August deadline for Alex Presley and a player to be named later (Duke Welker). Not one of the Twins' best trades.
Aaron Hicks was batting .144 at this point. As you probably remember, the Twins had traded Denard Span during the off-season and handed the job to the twenty-three-year-old Hicks on the strength of a good year in AA. He clearly wasn't ready, although he did improve his average to .192 by the end of the season.
Correia settled down after the first inning, but still allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk in four innings. He did not strike out anyone.
Parmelee is listed as the starting right fielder in 2013, but he played just sixty-eight games there. Doumit, Arcia, and Chris Herrmann also saw significant time in right field.
Record: The Twins were 18-23, in fifth (last) place in the American League Central, seven games behind Cleveland. They would finish 66-96, in fourth place, twenty-seven games behind Detroit.
The Braves were 26-18, in first place in the National League East, 3.5 games ahead of Washington. They would finish 96-66, in first place, ten games ahead of Washington.