The Minnesota Twins won an old-fashioned double-header on Saturday, taking two from the Kansas City Royals with a thirty minute break in between the games. The Twins have played only one other double header this year, also against the Royals, and won both games on June 30. Maybe next year, the Twins should petition MLB to schedule double headers every Saturday. And to play the Royals three times a week.
Cole DeVries got the Game 1 win for the Twins, going 6 2/3 innings while giving up one run on seven hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. The game was the rescheduled start of the previous night’s rainout, and and was also delayed on Saturday for about thirty minutes due to continued rain. Because of the Friday rainout, the Twins were able to use their expanded September roster, giving playing time during the early game to newly recalled Matt Carson, who went 0-4 at the plate. Joe Mauer got the afternoon game off, and Ben Revere was on the bench until the bottom of the eighth. Jamey Carroll had a solid afternoon at the plate, going 3 for 4 with three singles, a sacrifice bunt, a groundout, and a stolen base. Justin Morneau was the difference-maker, with two RBI early in the game and an unassisted double play in the bottom of the eighth.
Game 2 looked like it was going to be a blowout, with the Twins scoring eight runs in the first two innings and the Royals scoring two runs in the same time frame. The Twins scored seven of their runs on home run swings: a three-run shot from Chris Parmelee in the first and a grand slam in the second from Mauer. Mauer’s bases-loaded dinger was the first grand slam for the Twins this season. However, the Royals chipped away at the Twins’ lead, cutting it to 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth and bouncing Liam Hendricks from the game after 3 2/3 innings. Anthony Swarzak took over for 2 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and garnering the win.
While Mauer’s third career grand slam was a 2012 team first and the winning hit of Game 2, it was Glen Perkins who made history in quiet and efficient fashion. A tweet from Dustin Morse (@Twins_morsecode) explained that it had been almost 28 years since a Twin had saved two games in the same day:
"Perkins 2 saves today! The last #MNTwins player to record 2 saves in a day was Rick Lysander August 18, 1984. #Stats @glen_perkins"
Perkins faced four men in the first game, including a strikeout and a hit batter, and three batters in the second game, including a strikeout and a man caught stealing.
The Twins, who now stand at a depressing 55-78 season record, assured a better than .500 end to the season…against the Royals. Right now, the Twins have a winning record against two AL teams: the Royals and the Indians. They are currently 10-4 against the Royals, with five games remaining, and 7-2 against the Indians, with seven games remaining. They also have 2-1 season series records against NL teams the Cubs and the Reds. There are four other teams (Yankees, Blue Jays, Tigers, and White Sox) the Twins could theoretically take the season series from, but those are all variations of “long shots” for the season bragging rights.
The Twins and the Royals square off at 1:10 PM on Sunday. The Twins send Esmerling Vasquez to the mound for his first major league start. The Royals counter with Luis Mendoza, making his 25th appearance this season.
Twins fans are hoping The Boys brought their brooms.