The little piranhas at it again. Who remembers that nickname from Ozzie Guillen for the Twins? The Twins just took 2 of 3 on the road in Baltimore, where they haven’t won a series since 2010.
The Orioles played well this weekend. I like their team a ton, and I believe they’ll do well in a strong AL East division. But the Twins, they gritted their teeth and they’ve battled in this series.
They had a chance to win Game 1, but gave away a 4 run lead ending with a Chris Davis grand slam. Tyler Robertson came in to face Davis and served up a first pitch fastball. Ryan Doumit and Robertson’s decision to throw a first-pitch fastball to one of the game’s hottest hitters is beyond me, and it proved to be too much of a blow late in the game for the Twins to recover.
The Orioles jumped on Vance Worley for 2 runs in the 1st inning on Saturday evening. As I said, the Twins seemed to grit their teeth and welcome to the challenge. Led by a 2 run homer from Chris Parmelee, the Twins put up 4 runs in the 3rd. Baltimore chipped away at Worley, tying the the game in the bottom of the 5th. Josh Roenicke pitched well in relief, and the Twins got the run they needed from an RBI single from Justin Morneau in the 8th.
Today’s game was a ton of fun. The Orioles jumped to an early lead, and the Twins got 2 back in the top of the 3rd off a weird double from Justin Morneau. Want to know why I referenced the piranhas? Enter the 7th inning. Plouffe is hit by a pitch. Ramirez has a single. Dozier bunts them over. Parmelee with a game-tying sacrifice fly, followed by the go-ahead RBI single from Aaron Hicks. Glen Perkins got the save in both Saturday and Sunday’s contests.
- Jared Burton was not available to throw the 8th inning of Friday’s game due to pitching two days in a row against Detroit in the previous series. Gardenhire’s decision to rest his set-up man, especially this early in the season, is understandable. But if the Twins can continue to battle late into games, having Burton available may be key. The Twins may have had a sweep if Burton was available to pitch the 8th.
- Aaron Hicks has been exciting as well as frustrating to watch so far. To say he is having a rough start to his young season and career is an understatement. He’s now 2-26 with two singles and 3 RBI. I’m happy he came through in a clutch situation, and I hope his confidence is boosted. A player’s confidence is their greatest asset to success.
- Hicks defense in centerfield has overall been pretty good so far. However, he seemed to let up a bit on Adam Jones’ game tying double in game 1. By mid-summer, I think Hicks catches that ball.
- I try to stay as optimistic as I can about this team and the players. I’m not the biggest fan of Chris Parmelee, and I’m sure that will be evident as the season goes on. But he hit the ball well in this series. I want to really look specifically at his pinch hit appearance Sunday. He comes to the plate with the tying run on 3rd base and less than one out. He did exactly what he needed to do. Not trying to do too much, he put the ball in the air, giving Plouffe a chance to tag and score. I don’t like most of his at-bats so far this season, but this was a nice one.
- Roenicke’s 3 scoreless innings of relief on Saturday was a nice surprise.
- The Twins caught a major break with the miscommunication in the Oriole’s outfield on this odd “double” from Morneau. The routine fly ball should have ended the inning, keeping the Twins scoreless.
- For a spot start, Pedro Hernandez came up and kept the Twins in the ball game. He and Anthony Swarzak were great today.
- Joe Mauer finished the series 2-13. He also struck out 5 times. I trust he’ll get back into his normal Mauer-ness this week.
- Seriously, on the “Little Piranhas” note. Look at today’s win. Look at yesterday’s win. Look at the walk-off win against Detroit. Even if it doesn’t keep up, it sure is nice.
The Twins (4-2) travel to Kansas City for a 3 game series against the Royals (3-3).