I was running errands last night and turned this on to a 4-0 Athletics lead. Thought to myself, "Wowsers, Hughes must have had a rough couple of innings." Then the hometown club comes to bat and I'm wondering how they fared the first time through the order, seeing as how Dozier's up. He leads off the home half with a double and I'm like, "Awesome. One run at a time is how you get back into a game." Only to hear Provus indicate that this was, in fact, the first at-bat for the Twins. Nothing like an opposition grand slam in the first inning to deflate the feelings of optimism built up by taking it to the woeful White Sox.
I continued to listen as I was still in the car, between purchasing dog food, furnace filters, softener salt and weed & pest control (side note: don't like to use chemicals, but I don't have time to pull weeds for weeks and I don't find groundhog/gopher/mole traps to be all that efficient) and low and behold, the hometown nine managed to get the game back under control, scoring four runs to tie it up after two innings!
I then tuned out for a while (set up wasp/hornet trap, smoke bombed those damn rodent tunnels, filled water softener with salt & changed out furnace filter) and turned the game back on with Jordan Schafer up to bat in the bottom of the 8th and the boys up 8-6. Awesome! Schafer takes a walk which puts runners on 1st & 2nd with nobody out and Danny Santana up to bat. This was great - he shows bunt three times and Bassitt won't/can't accommodate the guy; throws four straight balls for Santana's first walk of the year to load the bases. I'm thinking, "Insurance runs would be sweet. I'll take 'em, but I don't think Perk will need 'em." Dozier then has a good at-bat but ends up striking out, and ii follows it with a double play ball to end the threat. I asked the guys if they thought he could've been safe if he'd run hard because the throw from 2nd was bounced to first, bobbled, dropped and picked up by Davis, all before ii even entered the frame. Beau's response,
"That may have been his top speed."
This was confirmed in the top of the 9th as he "hustled" to catch a Billy Butler fly ball to short right field.
He almost didn't get that. In his youth, he could've run there from center.
Perkins then gave up a double high off the wall in center to Stephen Vogt (he of the first inning Grand Slam) which was only about 10 ft shy of tying the game. With the tying run at 2nd (Sam Fuld pinch-running), Perkins had a pretty good battle with Craig Gentry before striking him out on a nasty back-foot slider.
Everyone was fawning over ii because, admittedly, he hit the three run homer in the 6th to give the Twins the lead. However, I'll contend that Schafer was the player of the game. He had a great night: 3-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 runs scored and a diving catch to end an Oakland threat in the top of the 8th.
Also, after the rough start, Phil Hughes managed to get his first win of the season (1-4) by completing 6 innings, giving up 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 BB. Fear not, he didn't have a great start to last year either, and look how that turned out.
Heard last night that the boys have not won four games in a row to start May in 13 years. Let's hope they keep it up.