Postgame: Burton the unsung hero of Twins' win
- Blog Post by: Phil Miller
- May 21, 2014 - 2:01 AM
A trio of leftovers as the Twins open their West Coast trip on an encouraging note:
WORTH A TRY: Ron Gardenhire lost a challenge in the seventh inning, but figured he had nothing to lose by trying. Aaron Hicks rolled a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line, and though the throw from Chase Headley seemed to just beat him to the bag, first baseman Yonder Alonso had to stretch for the ball, barely staying on the bag. "There's no reason for me not to [challenge]," Gardenhire said. "It looked like he came up early, but probably stayed on [the bag]. But the ball came all the way to the top of the glove. So you just take a chance; it's the seventh inning, so there's nothing to lose." Gardenhire was mostly pleased by how well Hicks bunted there, after a pregame bunting session on the field, to set up the go-ahead run. "We executed when we had to," he said. "Hicksie got a good bunt down."
BURTON'S BACK: Glen Perkins was credited with the save, his 13th, for a perfect ninth inning, but Jared Burton did the real work. He came in with two runners on base in the seventh inning -- something the former setup specialist isn't used to -- and had to protect a one-run lead. He did it, getting a fly out, a pop up and a ground out, another sign that his early-season problems are over. Burton has allowed one run in his last nine appearances. "Burton was huge. He came in in a big situation and got some big outs for us," manager Ron Gardenhire said of the reliever, who has allowed one run in his last nine appearances. "He's been throwing well. He kept telling us, 'I'm getting closer, I'm getting closer,' so obviously he's feeling it come out of his hand better."
HOME RUN HITTERS: Chris Parmelee did a nice job of keeping his weekend slump from growing any longer. He snapped an 0-for-12 skid in a big way, leading off the second inning with a 417-foot blast over the wall in straightaway center field. That's Parmelee's third home run in just 10 games since being restored to the roster, after the disappointment of not making the team in spring training. The Twins rank 13th in the AL in home runs with just 34, so any power surge is important. Speaking of home runs, why was tonight's (umpire-aided) shot Kurt Suzuki's first career inside-the-park home run? "I usually hit them way out, that's why," he joked. "And if it stays in the park, it's usually a single."
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