Monday, July 17, 2006

3 out of 4 ain't bad

Just keep winning series'. That's all the Twins should be thinking now.

And with the 5-2 victory on Sunday, that's what the Twins were able to do on Sunday, is win the series.

They got the win thanks to good starting pitching, power from some unusual sources, and another nice night for Jason Tyner. Carlos Silva, coming off injury in his last start, Silva was on his game today, pitching 6 innings and giving up 2 runs. As it usually is when thing are going well, he didn't walk anyone. This improves his numbers on the year to [cringe] 5-9 with a 6.79 ERA. But hey, you have to start somewhere.

Offensively, the tone was set by a leadoff HR from light-hitting Luis Castillo, his 3rd of the year. Mike Cuddyer hit his 12th of the year in the 4th, and then the Twins got some luck to score a couple more in the 4th. After a Justin Morneau walk, Rondell White hit a 'Metrodome Double' to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. That was when Jason Tyner, who has been all that is man since the callup, had a 2-RBI single. Tyner is now batting .500 after 3 games.

Rondell White added an insurance run with a solo blast in the 7th (Rondell's 1st of the year, sadly), but it wasn't even necessary for the bullpen that has been stingy all year. Jesse Crain pitched a couple of scoreless innings for the hold, and Joe Nathan came on in the 9th for his 16th save, lowering his ERA to 1.66 in the process.

Around the division, Sunday was a perfect day for the Twins. The Tigers finally lost, as Joey Gathright had a big day as the Royals beat the Tigers 9-6, and the Yanks earned a sweep of the White Sox as Mariano Rivera got his 400th save.

The Twins are now 11 games behind the Tigers for the division and only 6.5 games behind the White Sox for the Wildcard (although the Yankees and Blue Jays also stand in their way.

Another positive for the Twins... if they win in the next few days, they're guaranteed to gain ground on either the Sox or Tigers, as they play each other. Scott Baker will start for the first time since he was recalled, and will go against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who will send Tim Corcoran to the mound. Other pitching matchups:

Tuesday: Francisco Liriano (10-2, 2.12 ERA) vs. Scott Kazmir (10-6, 3.27 ERA)
Wednesday: Brad Radke (7-7, 4.97 ERA) vs. Jae Seo (207, 5.07 ERA)
Thursday: Johan Santana (10-5, 2.93 ERA) vs. James Shields (4-3, 5.37 ERA)