Mauer's show worthy of commercial success

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 18, 2012 - 6:18 AM

The All-Star catcher raised his batting average to .333 with three more hits, and he also made the defensive play of the game.

view larger photos

  

Joe Mauer is back.

After an injury marred 2011, he's keeping himself in the lineup, he's a candidate for another batting title, and he's catching like a Gold Glover again.

Those truths became apparent to anyone who kept their eyes from glazing over Tuesday night, as the Twins defeated the Orioles 6-4 at Target Field after the starting pitchers combined to walk 11 batters over the first five innings.

In a 3-hour, 43-minute game, Mauer just kept doing his thing -- getting hits, getting on base, handling the Twins pitching staff. He mixed in his best defensive play of the year and added a milestone hit.

"Oh well, it's Joe again," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He can flat-out hit. Bottom line, the guy can hit."

Mauer wasn't the only reason the Twins won their second game in a row over Baltimore. Their bullpen combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings, and Ben Revere's two-out, RBI single in the seventh scored the go-ahead run, but this was definitely a vintage Mauer performance.

He went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI, raising his batting average to .333. To win his fourth batting title this year, Mauer will have to catch Angels phenom Mike Trout, who had four more hits Tuesday and is batting .355.

The three hits gave Mauer 1,198 hits for his career, moving him ahead of Chuck Knoblauch (1,197) for eighth place on the Twins' all-time list.

The Twins are just happy Mauer is healthy. Injuries limited him to 82 games last year, and he's already played in 82 (out of 90) this year. He has made 40 starts at catcher, including three of five since the All-Star break.

He leads the American League with a .420 on-base percentage, and while he might never match the 28 home runs he hit in 2009 again, he's on pace for 11, which would be his most since the Twins moved to Target Field.

"I love playing here," Mauer said. "I love putting on this uniform. The most important thing is getting a win. If I get some hits, that's great."

After Twins starter Sam Deduno and Orioles starter Zach Britton were finished for the night, the score was tied 4-4 in the sixth inning when Mauer made his defensive gem.

Wilson Betemit hit a leadoff single off Jeff Gray. Ryan Flaherty tried to bunt the runner over to second base, and popped the ball toward the Twins dugout.

Mauer didn't blink. He popped out from behind the plate, ran about 40 feet, dove and made the catch.

"I was talking to [first baseman Justin] Morneau after, and he told me he wasn't going to get it," Mauer said. "I got a good jump and good read on the ball and was able to make the play."

Gardenhire went to make a pitching change and needled Mauer at the mound.

"I think it's going to be great for another commercial for Head & Shoulders," Gardenhire said. "He said he was disappointed on the mound that his helmet didn't come off because he thought that would have been better in the commercial.

"No, that was a great play. Sprawled out, it looked like he was back on the football field. Fantastic."

It turned into a dramatic inning, as Gardenhire had rookie lefthander Tyler Robertson intentionally walk J.J. Hardy to pitch to another former Twin -- Jim Thome. The at-bat lasted seven pitches, and Gardenhire never stopped pacing in the dugout until Robertson fanned Thome with one last slider.

"Thome was one of my favorite players growing up, so that was pretty exciting," Robertson said. "I was ready for the challenge and it worked out."

  • related content

  • Shoulder woes send Capps to DL

    Wednesday July 18, 2012

    The Twins returned Matt Capps to the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after the reliever irritated the rotator cuff in his right shoulder in Monday's game.

  • Tuesday's Twins-Baltimore game recap

    Wednesday July 18, 2012

    The catcher went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a spectacular catch.

  • Postgame: Without Capps, strategy will be key for Gardenhire

    Wednesday July 18, 2012

    Matt Capps returned to the disabled list Tuesday, and Manager Ron Gardenhire continued to show he'll let matchups dictate how he uses Glen Perkins and Jared Burton to close games.

  • Joe Mauer slides into second during the bottom of the first inning. Mauer went 3-for-4 Tuesday night.

  • Justin Morneau catches a foul ball hit by Baltimore's J.J. Hardy in the first inning.

  • TWINS 6, BALTIMORE 4

    Up next: 7:10 p.m. today vs Baltimore • Target Field • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close