This was more like what I expect from Kevin Slowey: accurate, efficient, victorious. 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER (on a solo HR), 0 BB and 9 K, all in just 98 pitches. The Indians came into the series hitting horribly, so why not attack the strike zone? This was the first truly Slowey-esque performance of the year, and hopefully a sign of more to come.
The offense ground yet another starter out of the game early. Justin Masterson found himself at 96 pitches after just 4 IP, having issued 5 BB to go along with 5 H and 6 K. For all that trouble he put himself in, it was actually his defense which let him down. By failing to get any outs on what should have been an inning-ending DP, they opened the door for the Twins to score 4 R in the 3rd and coast the rest of way.
Twins 6, Indians 0
Are you on the Francisco Liriano bandwagon yet? He went unscored upon for the second straight outing, allowing just 6 H and 2 BB with 6 K in 8 IP. When the Indians put the ball in play, they typically put it on the ground, including a GIDP to get out of the only real jam Liriano was in all night. As shaky as his control was in his first start, he's just one strike short of having allowed 1 ER in his first 21 IP, with 0 HR allowed. We're in business.
Few hits for the offense again, but 6 more BB, so when three of the hits came, there were RISP to drive in. Michael Cuddyer did big damage with a solo HR and 2-RBI 3B to pile on after Brendan Harris and Denard Span delivered 2-out singles in the 2nd.
Twins 1, Indians 8
Winning the first 2 games of a series does wonders for my blood pressure in the finale. I shrugged as the Indians blooped and bled hit after hit into the holes in the Twins' defense. The box score looks ugly, but Scott Baker was really in pretty decent form. He just had appallingly bad luck on balls in play. Alex Burnett finally allowed his first runs in relief. Shrug.
The Twins' offense did basically nothing the whole series and still won 2 of 3. Their only run today came courtesy of a dropped foul ball leading to a BB, followed by a balk, then a 2-out hit from Justin Morneau. Drew Butera got his first big league hit. They will be few and far between, I think.
- The Twins completed their first home stand at Target Field 6-3. They can't be comfortable there yet, but it doesn't seem to matter so far.
- They didn't commit an error in those 9 games, and have made only 1 in 16 games to start the season.
- After beginning the season 1 for 30 with 10 K, top prospect Aaron Hicks is 6 for his last 15 with a 2B and HR (though 6 more K). His 7 BB in 12 games give him a still very good .111 IsoD.