MINNESOTA 6, BALTIMORE 1 IN MINNESOTA
Date: Saturday, May 3.
Batting stars: Joe Mauer was 3-for-4 with a home run (his second), two runs, and four RBIs. Brian Dozier was 3-for-4 with a home run (his eighth) and three runs. Kurt Suzuki was 2-for-4 with a double.
Pitching stars: Kevin Correia pitched seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks and striking out three. Casey Fien pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit. Jared Burton pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Opposition stars: J. J. Hardy was 2-for-4 with a double. Nick Markakis was 2-for-4 with a double. Wei-Yin Chen pitched five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk and striking out five.
The game: In the first inning Mauer hit a one-out single and scored from first on Trevor Plouffe's double. The Orioles tied it in the second when Adam Jones reached on a strikeout-plus-wild pitch, stole second and scored on a Hardy single. Dozier led off the third with a home run, putting the Twins back up 2-1.
The Twins got an insurance run in the fifth when Dozier got to second on a single-plus-error and scored on a Mauer single. They put it away in the seventh. Pedro Florimon and Dozier led off with singles and Mauer hit a three-run homer, giving the Twins a 6-1 lead. Baltimore did not threaten to get back into the game.
WP: Correia (1-3). LP: Chen (3-2). S: None.
Notes: Florimon began the season as the starting shortstop, but when he predictably didn't hit he was replaced by Eduardo Escobar. Jason Kubel was in left in place of Josh Willingham, who was injured. Sam Fuld was in center field. Aaron Hicks, who started the year as the regular in center, was apparently out with a minor injury. Danny Santana would eventually take over in center field. Chris Colabello was in right field, as Oswaldo Arcia was out due to injury.
Josmil Pinto was the DH. The Twins didn't have a regular DH in 2014. Kennys Vargas played the most games there with just 40. Kendrys Morales had 26, PInto 21, Mauer 19, Colabello 13, and Willingham 13. Fourteen others were at DH at least once, including such sluggers as Florimon and Doug Bernier. In fairness, I suspect players like that were used as pinch-runners and so technically became the DH.
The only substitution the Twins made was that Chris Herrmann pinch-ran for Colabello in the seventh and stayed in the game in right field.
The Twins had no one batting over .300 at this stage of the season. The only one who would end up over .300 is Santana, who batted .319. They did have two batters below .200--Pinto (.198) and Florimon (.121). The Twins would finish seventh in batting at .253. Detroit led the league at .277.
Dozier led the team in home runs with 23. Arcia was not far behind with 20. The only others in double figures were Plouffe (14) and Willingham (12). The Twins were eleventh in home runs with 128. Baltimore led the league with 211.
Correia was not good for the Twins, but unfortunately did not particularly stand out. Phil Hughes was easily the best starter at 16-10, 3.42. Kyle Gibson was adequate at 13-12, 4.47. After that it was Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.38) and Correia (5-13, 4.94). They never really did settle on a fifth starter, with Yohan Pino making the most starts out of that slot with 11. He was 2-5, 5.07. Others who made at least five starts were Trevor May, Samuel Deduno (and his magical zoomball), Mike Pelfrey, and Tommy Milone. The Twins were dead last in ERA at 4.57--Seattle led at 3.17. They were twelfth in WHIP at 1.39--Oakland led at 1.15.
This team had a lot of "oh yeah" Twins, as in "oh yeah, I remember that we had that guy". Some of them will eventually be forgotten Twins, but not enough time has passed. I would put Correia, Florimon, Fien, Fuld, Morales, Pino, and Milone all in that category, and maybe a few others.
Players with Twins connections who played for Baltimore in this game were Nelson Cruz, J. J. Hardy, Steve Pearce, and Jonathan Schoop.
This win broke a four-game losing streak and started a three-game winning streak.
Record: The Twins were 13-15, in third place in the American League Central, 4.5 games behind Baltimore. They would finish 72-90, in fifth (last) place, 20 games behind Detroit.
The Orioles were 15-13, in second place in the American League East, a half game behind New York. They would finish 96-66, in first place, 12 games ahead of New York. It hardly seems possible that Baltimore was that good that recently, but there you go.
Random record: The Twins are 39-37 in Random Rewind games.