A check of the pitching matchups revealed that Cubs fiery righthander Carlos Zambrano was starting at Wrigley Field on Tuesday.
That's funny, because the Twins' Carlos Silva sure looked a lot like Zambrano in the sixth inning of their 4-2 victory over the Rangers at the Metrodome.
Texas opened the sixth with a single and double. Silva struck out Jason Botts but walked David Murphy to load the bases.
Then Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to right, driving in a run to pull Texas within 3-2.
Silva needed a big pitch. He got Travis Metcalf to hit a slow roller to short -- too slow for an inning-ending double play, it seemed. But shortstop Jason Bartlett grabbed the ball and flipped to second baseman Nick Punto, who made an amazing turn and fired to first to get Metcalf and end the inning.
The play had Silva pumping his fist and yelling to himself as he left the mound. It looked a lot like Zambrano, whose yelling makes sports shows every five days.
"You guys know, when I'm on the mound, I give everything I have," Silva said about his emotions. "So I think that was a very good play."
At 12-14, Silva can win his last two starts and finish at .500.
After looking ragged last year and this spring, Silva has become the most reliable Twins starter not named Johan Santana.
"He's given us a lot of innings here," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A lot of good performances and a lot of chances to win games. He has been very impressive for us."
Jason Kubel had three hits and Joe Nathan earned his 33rd save.
Neshek shut down
The Twins have shut down reliever Pat Neshek for a few days because of what they believe is a tired arm. Neshek is 7-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 70 1/3 innings but has a 4.82 ERA since the All-Star break and a 6.00 ERA this month.
"I don't know for how long, but I'm not going to pitch him for a while," Gardenhire said. "We're going to give him a break here."
More fielding for Buscher
Third baseman Brian Buscher will spend a week to 10 days in Fort Myers, Fla., after the season to work on his fielding during the Twins instructional league. Buscher, batting .273 with two homers and seven RBI in 24 games since being called up from Class AAA Rochester, also might play winter ball.
"I want him to get better," Gardenhire said. "He's working really hard at it. He's trying a lot of things over and over. And that's why we are going to go to instructional league."
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