Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Postgame: Two slams are historic, in a bad way

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: June 8, 2014 - 8:34 PM

    Some leftovers from a day that started with a big signing, and ended with some big home runs:

    TWO SWINGS, EIGHT RUNS: The game never seemed particularly competitive on Sunday, not with Samuel Deduno's control so far off. But it turned historic in the late innings, when Chris Carter and Jon Singleton each connected on the first grand slams of their careers. Carter victimized Brian Duensing, whose ERA spiked to 3.33, while Singleton connected off closer Glen Perkins, in the game for some apparently necessary tune-up work, since he hadn't pitched since Wednesday. Perkins' runs were unearned, due to an error by Brian Dozier.

    It's just the second time in Astros history that two hitters have collected slams in the same game. Back in July 30, 1969, Dennis Menke and Jimmy Wynn hit slams in a Shea Stadium win over the soon-to-be world champs Amazin' Mets.

    The Twins hadn't given up two grand slams in a game in 25 years, but this one was the third in their history. The most recent ones were hit by Corey Snyder (off Bert Blyleven) and Joe Carter (off Keith Atherton) of the Indians in an 11-6 Cleveland victory in the Metrodome on April 22, 1988.

    The first instance must have been quite a game. It came in the Twins' first season in Minnesota, on May 9, 1961 at Metropolitan Stadium, when Baltimore's Jim Gentile hit a slam in the first and second innings of a 13-5 victory. Scoring on both slams was Orioles leadoff hitter, and Hall of Fame manager, Whitey Herzog. Gentile finished with nine RBIs in the game.

    TIGHT ROSTER: Kendrys Morales sat in the dugout and watched Sunday's game, having been activated a few hours earlier. The Twins will have to play shorthanded for a week or two while he gets ready, meaning it's almost impossible for them to add a 13th pitcher if they need one in Toronto. But it's worth the trouble, general manager Terry Ryan said, to add a hitter like Morales. "If you've got a guy who's the ideal DH, this guy's probably him," Ryan said.

    It puts the Twins in a bad spot, but they had little choice, since Morales is out of options. Some have suggested they could have signed him to a minor-league contract, but Ryan said it's unlikely baseball would have approved that arrangement, since it's an attempt to circumvent option rules. There's no such thing as a $10 million minor-league contract, he said. In addition, Morales and his agent, Scott Boras, probably would not have gone along with such a plan, because it would present a big risk of injury. If he's not on a 40-man roster and he suffers a season-ending injury, for instance, Morales would lose all the accrued service time. "It's not idea, but we'll make it work," Ryan said.

    Morales, who asked for uniform No. 17 -- Pat Neshek's old number -- will take fielding practice once he's ready, too, Ryan said, and may occasionally play the position to give Joe Mauer a day off. But he will primarily serve as a designated hitter, the first time in years the Twins have had a full-time DH, more or less.

    WIN OR SAVE? Despite the score, Astros' lefthander Darin Downs was eligible for his first career save on Sunday. Instead, he was awarded his first win since 2012. That's because starter Collin McHugh, the pitcher of record when the Astros took the lead for good in the second inning, didn't pitch the required five innings to earn the win. Under baseball rules, the official scorer, in this case Stew Thornley, awards the victory to the pitcher he judges most deserving.

    Josh Fields relieved McHugh in the fifth inning, after the starter walked two Twins while holding a 5-1 lead. But while Fields wasn't charged with any runs, he gave up back-to-back singles that scored two runs charged to McHugh. Kyle Farnsworth only pitched one-third of an inning and gave up two runs. That left Downs, who entered the game in the seventh inning with two runners on base and the Astros leading, 9-5. Since the tying run was on deck, it was technically a save situation, and Downs quickly ended the inning with no further damage. Then he pitched the next two innings without allowing a run, making Thornley's decision relatively easy. A pitcher can't earn both a save and a win, so Downs doesn't get his first save, but he does get his first win as an Astro. It breaks a drought of 45 appearances without a victory, dating back to Sept. 18, 2012, when he was with the Tigers and relieved Max Scherzer in a 12-2 victory over the A's.

    That's it from Target Field. La Velle E. Neal is already in Toronto, prepared to cover the Twins' three-game foray into Canada, normally a tough place for them to play. You can follow his blog, Twins Insider, and on Twitter @LaVelleNeal.


Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 37 3rd Qtr
Denver 37
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 3rd Prd 17:07
Washington 2
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 20:00
Dallas 0
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 46 2nd Half 8:23
Ohio State 45
Arizona State 20 1st Half 7:09
Colorado 23
Washington St 8:30 PM
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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