It took a late comeback and some dramatics in extra innings, but the Twins prevailed on Friday night with a 7-5 victory over the Orioles in 12 innings.
Before we go any further, we'd be remiss (becuase of the blog name) if we didn't mention the fact that Joe Nathan got the win. Nathan pitched 2 innings, giving up 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 3. It was his 4th win of the year (4-0), and the 2 shutout innings lowers his ERA to 2.05, which is pretty good..
But he wouldn't gave picked up the victory without the walkoff HR from Justin Morneau, his 2nd of the night, and 13th of the year. With Nick Punto on 1st and 2 out in the 12th, Justin Morneau blasted the 2-0 pitch from Chen over the high wall in RF to end the ballgame. The 5 RBI for Morneau increased his team-leading RBI total to 43.
In what's becoming a nightly theme, Joe Mauer was very good at the plate, going 3/5 with a BB, and he scored a run. With the average sitting at .384 and the OPS up at .983, I think it's safe to call Joe Mauer the best C in the MLB.
The bullpen combined to pitch 6.1 scoreless innings, with Jesse Crain pitching 1.1 innings (to lower the ERA to 6.04!), Denys Reyes pitched 1.1 innings, and Juan Rincon pitched 1.2 scoreless innings (which lowered the ERA to 1.76).
With a loss from the Tigers, the Twins now sit 10.5 games out of place, but they can't look at that. Just have to keep plugging away, taking one game at a time, and worry about themselves. It sounds cliche, but when you're that far out, you just have to keep winning series. The Twins have a chance to take the series on Saturday with Carlos Silva taking the mound taking the mound against Daniel Cabrera (who always seems to have the Twins' number. On Sunday we will once again get to see Francisco Liriano go to work, which is always a pleasure.